Monday, September 19, 2011

Bread - Sourdough

We love a nice loaf of gutsy bread here at Number 10 so I thought I'd try my hand at making some sourdough.

I read, maybe 6 or 7 recipes for it and got a different version each time. Very confusing. I also bought a terrific book called "Bread" by Jeffrey Hamelman. A good read, if you're into bread that is.

The one bit of imformation that was constant though is how important the sourdough starter is, although there are a lot of versions of it as well...everyone seems to have different ideas of how often you should "feed" it, how long it takes to mature and what you should put in the water to help it along. Some say grapes, others say potato peel...

Anyway, it takes a bout a week to get it going, so if you want to make sourdough you have to plan ahead....well ahead

The recipe I used is copyright so I can't detail it here...all I'll say though if you go to the Everyday Gourmet
website and search for sourdough and sourdough leaven, you'll find it.

 I bought my flour from Marg and Marees Baking store in Heidelberg Heights.

It is The. Best. Shop for all things baking!

This is the finished product. It was quite nice. Not the typical sourdough we've been having from the local bakery, but nice nonetheless

About Marg and Marees...They also hold classes for just about every baked good on the planet...and then some....and they have a website so if you lodge your email address with them they'll let you know what classes are coming up when...get in early though, the classes fill fast!

For Melburnians they're at 54 Bell St Heidelberg Heights

Happy baking

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Strawberry Cake from Stacey Snacks ...via Martha

I've mentioned Stacey from Stacey Snacks before and just how wonderful her recipes are

Now the latest I've tried is her Strawberry Cake

It's a lovely and easy recipe...she used strawberries because they were in season in the US...I've used cherries, because I had them in the cupboard (the jarred variety).

Recipes are changeable things aren't they? I mean, you can always come up with something or substitute an ingredient if you haven't got exactly what the particular recipe calls least that's what I do. It makes my cooking a bit of a challenge sometimes...and it always keeps MONT on his toes.

Here's the recipe......

1-1/2 cups plain flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 punnets strawberries, hulled and halved - (or other fruit like cherries or blueberries)
2 tablespoons raw sugar (for the top)

In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, baking powder & salt. In a large bowl, cream the sugar together with the egg and the butter. Gradually mix in your flour and add the milk, zest and extracts, mixing until a nice thick yellow batter turns out.
Pour your batter into a greased 9" pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut-sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle raw sugar over the top.

Bake at 325F (about 160c) for about 45 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch.

Instead of strawberries, I used some cherries I had in the cupboard and some frozen raspberries. I mixed a few of the cherries through the cake, then dotted the top of it with the raspberries. It was delish

This is not a light and fluffy cake, or at least mine wasn''s a little more dense and crumbly...and very nice with a cup of coffee.

It's that easy really. Hope you like it. I'm having some for my breakfast with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Yummo