The weather really picked up in sunny Northern Ireland. We have spent the ‘good’ weekends eating barbecue and salad picked from the garden…bliss! The gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries and broad beans have been and gone (although the next wave of broad beans are just ready for picking ). I also have a years supply of garlic ready to be harvested!
To be honest when the weather is this nice I often don’t feel like cooking (although the world cup may have had a bit to do with it as well as well as my spell of Saturdays working in a REAL kitchen …more of that another time!). However interesting breads fit into the summer vibe perfectly so I have been baking in bits and pieces.
I love sourdough breads, although they take a bit of commitment to make. Apart from a more complex flavour, they keep very well and make the best toast you will have ever eaten. Sourdoughs are also very good breads for busy folk as they rise slowly so can fit around your weekend activities only requiring occasional TLC. The process of making a starter takes quite a bit of time but not a whole lot of effort. Dan lepard’s recipe is one of the easiest and resulted in the bubbling beauty below after just a week! Once you have your starter made it is just a case keeping it in the fridge and ‘refreshing’ once a week (the best way to do this is to make bread). Even if neglected a starter can be restored to its former glory by a couple of refreshments so if you go on your hols all is not lost.
‘Mill’ Loaves made using a combination of white, wholemeal and rye flour in a 6:3:1 ratio. My shaping of a baton needs some work!
Sourdough rye crispbreads adapted from this recipe by Nigel Slater (use sourdough starter, rye flour and water in a 1:2:2 ratio to replace the flour and water in the recipe) and were a huge hit with C. who called them “crack bread”. They were flavoured with either fennel seed, linseed, nigella seed, whole cumin or caraway. One tip on making these is to be VERY generous with the flour when rolling them out as the dough will be VERY sticky.
The sourdough resulted in a nice open texture to the bread.
These crispbreads, served with artisan cheeses added a special touch to a memorable family supper. Apart from getting used to working such wet dough they really were very easy to make. Now we are waiting for our second child to arrive so I have been busy making industrial quantities of lasagne, curry and chilli for the freezer! Hopefully the new arrival will still allow me a bit of time to cook!
Breads submitted to yeastspotting.