Sieve the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir.
Make a well and pour in the buttermilk, then mix quickly to make a dough.
Place on a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, you almost want to treat the dough like it’s really hot when you’re kneading it, handling it as little as possible. Then form into a round and flatten slightly before placing it on a lightly floured baking sheet.
Cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife and bake for about 30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
625g Tipo 00 Flour
1 rounded tsp baking soda
2 rounded tsp cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter use 1/2 a teaspoon)
100g chilled butter cubed
1 egg beaten
25g castor sugar
Hard to believe it’s nearly 3 weeks since I wrote this post about Roma’s excellent Tipo 00 flour, time sure is flying. Why do I mention it here? Well, Will made a comment that pasta flour makes great scones. As I had been meaning to have a blast at making some scones, this was a great excuse to try something a little different.
Take all your dry ingredients and sieve them into a large bowl. Next add the butter and work this in with your hands until you have what looks like breadcrumbs.
Next add about half the beaten egg and the milk and continue to mix this together until you have a moist dough. Then on a well floured surface pat or roll the dough out until it’s about 2cm thick and cut with a circular cutter. Place these on a greased and floured baking tray, don’t be afraid to roll up the off cuts and make a few out of that as well. Then place them in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until they have risen and turned golden on top.
Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and as soon as you can hold them without burning your fingers serve with butter and Jam – preferably home made and strawberry. If you can stop at just one you’re doing well!
2 foot-long bread sticks
Large handful grated cheese (strong cheddar or goats cheese)
30g butter, brought to room temperature
Teaspoon dried thyme
Teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste (or substitute with 10 twists of dried garlic grater).
Heat your oven to 180C.
Mix the butter, thyme, basil & garlic together. Make 1-inch thick slices into the bread, but do not go all the way through, just to the bottom crust. Spread the butter mix on both sides of each “slice” and then stuff the gaps with the grated cheese.
Cook for 10-15 mins, until any cheese on top of the bread has gone crispy.
I usually fashion a cooking tray out of foil for each bread stick, as this will catch any melted cheese that drips through and also means you can scrumple it up at the end, quickly tidying away any crumbs. To make the tray, pull off a large piece of foil and fold in half for strength. Fold about 1-inch of the long side over twice to form a “wall” and repeat on other long side. Place the bread stick on the foil and crease in the short ends to the correct size, ensuring that your sides stay upright. Don’t seal in the bread stick (unless you want soft garlic bread!).
Note: Use cheese with a strong flavour, this works a lot better than mild cheddar in this recipe. You can also adjust the amount of garlic to suit your taste.
3 x 7g packets of dried yeast
1 large tablespoon of honey
625ml beer (I like Hoegaarden but I’ve also done this with Smithwicks as well)
500g of strong white bread flour
500g of plain flour
Plain flour for dusting
Lets talk about beer for a moment, I mentioned two brands of beer above that I have tried this with, Hoegaarden creates by far the better flavour of these two, but any beer should work, just be aware that a lot of the flavour of the bread comes from the beer so make sure you use a beer that you like to drink and you shouldn’t go too far wrong 😉
Sieve your flour into a large mixing bowl (the bigger the better) and add the salt and make a well in the center.
The next part of this recipe goes against the grain for most guys, we need to warm the beer in a saucepan until tepid. Then dissolve the yeast and the honey in half of this and hold onto the rest. I know it’s difficult to do this to a beer you like but trust me it’s worth it.
Now pour the yeast mixture into the well you made in the flour and with an open flat hand start making circular movement in the liquid moving from the center outwards (bringing in the dry ingredients) until the yeast/beer mixture is soaked up. Next you want to add the remainder of the beer and continue to mix until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated and you have a moist dough.
Now for the most important part of making bread and also the most fun, kneading. Start by flouring a work surface well and placing the dough on it, what you want to do is roll, push, pull, fold and punch your dough for about five minutes or so. If any dough sticks to your hands just rub them together with a little extra flour and it’ll fall right off.
Flour both your hands and the top of the dough lightly and form the dough into a large roundish shape, place it back in the mixing bowl and score the top of it.
Now we’re going to leave the bread to prove for the first time – we want it to roughly double in size. I’ve found it’s best to cover the bowl with a slightly damp tea towel and leave it in a warm draught free place. This can take up to one and a half hours, so there is no point sitting there waiting for it to happen leave it alone and check in every fifteen to twenty minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
At this point you want to knock the dough back by kneading it again for about a minute.
Next, divide the dough into twelve balls and set them on a greased baking tray ready to go into the oven. You want to leave some space between each one, as they prove again they may expand into each other however once cut the joined bread rolls should pull apart easily.
Then cover them again and leave them to prove again until they double in size. They may be a little slower to double this time but don’t panic, it usually takes considerably longer for the dough to rise the second time so hang in there and just be confident, it will.
While they are proving, heat your oven to 225 C.
Once they have doubled in size dust the tops with a little flour. Next you want to place the baking tray into the oven as carefully and gently as possible, after all your hard work to this point you don’t want to spoil them by knocking any of the air out of them. Also, be careful not to slam the oven door 😉
They should only need twenty to twenty five minutes to bake but you can check if they’re done by picking one up and tapping the bottom if it’s sounds hollow they’re done. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for about forty-five minutes.
You can of course use this recipe for all sorts of bread, just shape it into whatever you want before the second proving and cook in the same manner.
500g lean ground beef
1 large red onion, finely diced
2 slices of bread, made into breadcrumbs
Large handful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Large handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 pinch of cumin seeds
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of smooth French mustard
2 handfuls of grated mozzarella cheese
1 chili, finely diced
Burgers in general are just ground beef reformed into a convenient shape to place in a burger bun, right? Even at it’s simplest a burger is so much more than that, every burger maker has their own preference for the cut of beef to be ground for their burgers or the blend of cuts and the percentage of each. Some add nothing more than seasoning and others bulk out their burgers with all sorts of synthetic “fillers” and “flavour enhancers”.
I like the idea of a pure beef burger but in truth I find all but the most exceptional to be a little bland and lacking in flavour, which is why I go down the route of using a blend of herbs and other flavours to make every bite an event.
Once you have the onion and fresh herbs chopped, place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, a large pinch of salt and pepper and the oregano in your mortar and pestle and grind them up as finely as possible. Then add this to the blender along with the fresh herbs and the bread and blend until you have nice fine herby breadcrumbs.
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix them together well – get your hands in and mix everything together really well, yes even the cheese.
Next place a large sheet of clingfilm onto a clean surface and arrange the mixture on top so that you can roll it into a six to eight centimetre thick sausage and seal it in the clingfilm, making sure to have this sausage compacted into this size as much as possible. Now place this in the fridge and allow it to cool for at least an hour.
Now remove the burger-sausage from the fridge and (without removing the clingfilm) slice it into burgers about one and a half centimetres thick using a very sharp knife. Once all have been sliced it should be easy enough to remove the pieces of clingfilm.
These can then be cooked on a grill, in the frying pan, or my personal favourite, grilled over a charcoal burning barbecue for approximately 2 minutes each side. I like them served in a toasted bun on a bed of lettuce and sliced cornichon with a generous helping of grated cheddar melted over the burger, topped with some hot fresh caramelised onion chutney and a blob of ketchup.