Friday 27th January.
Pizza and iced buns with the Family Learning group this morning:
[Pic to come]
Then more iced buns with my year 3 group.
Finally, in the afternoon, I made iced buns again with my fortnightly care home group, where I received some bad news! After 10 years I've been told they can no longer afford me. I've been given a months notice, but, at the end of February - that's it!
Thursday 26th January.
Made several 'Banoffee' breads today at Longrun - one with a twist! ;)
Together with one of the students we rolled out the dough in two long strips and placed melted Mars bar down the middle of each:
|You have to work fast - the Mars bar solidifies fast!|
|Place banana over the chocolate/toffee mixture|
|The one on the left contains just melted Mars bar - the second one has the banana as well. Then there are a couple of 'normal' banoffee loaves, whilst at the top there are some cheese breadsticks and a couple of cheese rolls|
|Here's a slice of the banoffee twist|
So I thought I'd make a cake using banana, which I'd often heard about as an ingredient in cakes - generally as an egg substitute - instead of oil.
I made the usual amount, dividing it between two 7" cake cases, and they only took about 15 minutes. They didn't rise as much, but it was recognisably cake and jolly tasty, I thought. Perhaps a bit 'rubbery' in texture. But if you want to cut down on your fat intake, here's a good way to do it and still eat cake!
|If I'd have sandwiched this cake with a bit of jam and added chocolate icing, I reckon the comments would have been even more favourable!|
Next time I might try it with oil and banana half and half, or use apple puree. Seems this is a very adaptable cake!
In the afternoon session we made curried, sweet, naan breads - two with onion and one, Matt's, without. I'm really annoyed I forgot to take any photos, because the onion ones were a real picture. Next time!
Wednesday 25th January.
Delivered a session for Wellington Children's Centre - the first of three - this morning with a small group. Each family made a batch of dough - and made a variety of shapes. A great time was had by all. Hopefully there will be a few more next week as words spreads.
Tuesday 24th January.
I was invited along to deliver a breadmaking session on a Healthy Living course in Bridgwater this morning - 6 parents (including one dad) and 7 year one students. 2 of the mothers were breadmakers - one had been on a course with me about 5 years ago with an older child.
We made the usual 'Original playdough' with the children making a variety of shapes. The parents were very keen and interested - the non-breadmakers thinking beforehand that making bread was difficult and having their preconceptions blown away.
Parkin update: Still improving!
Monday 23rd January.
Tried another piece of the parkin last night - definitely getting more parkin-like! And had another piece this evening - getting better by the day.
Need to make a dozen rolls tonight - I'm right out of bread.
There's been a discussion on the BBC Food boards about crumpets and pikelets, which inspired me to revisit my recipe and make some for breakfast this morning. Full story and pics here.
|Here's a pic to whet your appetite!|
Saturday 21st January.
On the back of the vegan chocolate cake I've been making, I wanted to reproduce the Lancashire parkin I grew up with.
So here it is:
|This is the only decent-sized cake case I have.|
Friday 20th January.
Broke the habit of a (teaching) lifetime today, by including a cake recipe in a breadmaking session. This was in my Family Learning group at Halcon Primary School, 2nd session of 5. I did it firstly because it is so cheap - at today's prices this cake costs 73p - and because it's so very easy to make. I forgot to turn the oven on before we started, so the cakes went into a cold oven, which didn't seem to make any difference. I didn't have enough large cake cases, so we divided one into two - small ones took about 30 minutes, but the large ones took forever - about an hour, including time for the oven to warm up. I've never cooked more than one at a time, so having an oven-full obviously affected the cooking time.
Each family also made a loaf of bread:
Thursday 19th January.
Farthing buns and fruit croissants in the first session at Longrun House today.
The buns are basically a layered fruit dough rolled out into a rough square then cut into slices a la noughts and crosses. The fruit croissants are just that - croissants made with a fruit dough:
|Croissant dough - 3 x 4 x 4 - 48 layers, then rolled out and rested|
|Rolled out a bit longer, then cut into triangles|
|Rolled up and placed on tray|
|Baked and given a sugar glaze|
|The crumb, showing the layers|
|These were not quite done underneath, so they went back in the oven for a couple of minutes|
|Ready for a sugar glaze|
|A selection of the cheese and potato bread we made today. Pasties at the top, then some of Matt's parathas, with curry in the dough as well as in the filling, then a couple more parathas + a half-eaten one!|
Preparing for Friday's Family Learning session I needed to make a chocolate cake using cups rather than metric measurements.
Knowing that my students are unlikely to have measuring cups, I used a small plastic beaker, weighing the ingredients as I added them. The recipe they'll take away with them will have both cup and metric measurements:
1 and a quarter cups of self-raising flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 dessertspoons of cocoa powder
1 cup of cold water
1/3rd cup of sunolive oil
This translated into:
165g self-raising flour
These were mixed together and the cake was baked at 180C for 40 minutes.
This works out at 73p for a cake weighing 635g.
Noticed, whilst shopping at Sainsbury's, that basic self-raising and plain flours had gone up from 52p to 69p - a 32% increase!
Thursday 12th January.
Had a go at these Speculaas rolls at Longrun, today. I mixed the marzipan with Benedictine instead of egg - but, on reflection, the marzipan was soft enough anyway. I wonder if the egg prevents the marzipan from melting?
|Leaked out marzipan all round the rolls|
|But the rolls were still very tasty. Also made chocolate and banana loaves|
|2nd attempt on the Speculaas rolls, along with more C&B loaves and Matts curried focaccia with olives on top.|
Saturday 7th January.
Story and pics.
Saturday 31st December.
Been a bit neglectful of this blog recently. I've been away for Christmas and I'm only now getting back into the swing of things.
Apart from this, I've begun a blog on another of my passions - early development. This is necessarily going to take up some of the time I've been devoting to bread - but obviously, it's far more important!
For Christmas lunch I made a vegan haggis en croute which was delicious [Have pics which I'll post shortly]
Friday 30th December.
I took along much of the stuff I'd bought for Xmas loaves and got rid of most of it in a couple of batches of - well, sliced Xmas loaf is all I can think of to call it [pic to follow]
One of them contained chocolate covered marzipan, yellow and green cherries, pieces of dark chocolate and orange and citron candied peel!
Thursday 29th December.
Breadmaking at Longrun House - made several pizzas in the morning session. In the afternoon, as a sort de-luxe pain au chocolat, Eric and I used some Roses chocolates from a large tin one of the parents had brought in for the staff - and we made a seeded flower loaf.
This afternoon I played crib with some friends of mine. I've been thinking a lot about no-knead, overnight bread these days, with a view to incorporating it into my classes. So, to get a feel of how it would work, I asked my friends to bring a plastic container to take away a batch of dough each.
I took along some dough I'd mixed up in the morning and demonstrated folding and shaping the dough using oil. It only took a couple of minutes - and I finished up by chafing the dough and placing it on some baking parchment.
My friends all mixed up the dough
[More to come on this!]
Finished all my classes - at least until Thursday the 29th - which allows me to catch up on here.
Starting with my classes at my Thursday care home, Longrun House, Taunton. In the first session we made several Christmas loaves:
|The number of cherries denote whose loaf it was|
|A slice from one of the loaves|