Category Sourdough

Tomato and basil English muffins

This my savoury twist on classic English breakfast muffins: these are wonderful toasted and liberally buttered: the butter has to be liberal, and low-fat spreads and the like do not do justice to these muffins! The dough is flavoured with sun-dried tomatoes, for that amazing umami kick, and fresh basil. Together with the soft, pillowy dough, […]

Green olive and rye sourdough

My weekly ritual of making at least a couple of sourdough loaves always fills me with excitement…..not to mention an almost uncontrollable urge to slice into the freshly baked bread! Costing pennies to make – a far cry from those very expensive sourdough loaves you can buy – and much tastier, it really is not that […]

Sourdough baguettes

Shatteringly crisp baguettes, full of flavour and with wonderfully open crumb structure: surely the epitome of baking simplicity! Don’t get me wrong, I love throwing in goodies such as olives, roasted garlic, fresh herbs and the like in with doughs, but the refreshing lack of embellishments here absolutely hit the spot. About this recipe I have […]

20-minute sourdough flatbreads

These flatbreads are so easy, so quick and so good with whatever dip or cheese is to hand. You can make a batch within about 20 minutes, including the baking, even going at a fairly sedate pace. The joy of these flatbreads is you simply take some sourdough starter (I use some of the starter […]

Cheese, olive & tomato sourdough

This is much a “use up the left-overs” bread, using up some spiced olives (the ones normally found in the chiller cabinet at the supermarket) and the end of a block of mature Cheddar. I added some chopped sun-dried tomatoes for that wonderfully intense umami flavour you get: sun-dried tomatoes are one of my must-have store […]

English breakfast muffins

Updated Feb 2017: new photos of the muffins Perfect sliced, toasted and buttered, English muffins (well, “muffins” to those of us brought up in the UK!) are very simple to make and require very little attention. And as with most home-made breads, they taste so much better than any you can buy – and for […]

Bruschetta: when simplicity reigns!

Bruschetta is one of those things that cannot fail to put a smile on my face when I eat it. Perfect as a starter, served with barbeque food or just as a light bite at any time of the day, one slice is never enough. Bruschetta is a very quick and easy to make: as […]

The easiest & quickest smoked mackerel pâté in the world!

This is an insanely simple and almost instant smoked mackerel pâté that is seriously big on flavour – perfect spread liberally on hot toast or eaten with a baguette as part of a light snack. The pickled gherkins are quite wonderful in here and really lift the pâté somewhat: I tend use use the sliced […]

Cheese & onion sourdough crumpets

These particular crumpets arose from an idea that came to me late one night – as is often the way! While I adore crumpets that are toasted and eaten with butter and jam (surely one of life’s foodie pleasures?), I love savoury flavours, and so a batch of cheese and onion crumpets called out loudly to […]

Easy sourdough crumpets

I am of the belief that a hot crumpet, slathered with butter, perhaps with some excellent quality jam, is one of life’s greatest foodie pleasures. These are very simple crumpets, that are also relatively quick to make if you have an active sourdough starter: a batch can be made in about an hour. If you […]

The simplest, quickest sourdough flatbreads in about 20 minutes!

When you feed a sourdough starter, you discard some of the starter so that you can top the remaining starter with more water and flour: that way you get a fairly constant volume of starter rather than having litres of it in many containers all over the place! Waste-not, want-not! The discarding always seems something of a waste, […]

Treacle tart with a hint of orange

For me, a treacle tart is the epitome of comfort food, especially with the nights drawing in and the temperature outside dropping of an evening! This rich, sticky tart has just a hint of orange in both the pastry and the filling, and is a version of a recipe I have been making for decades. It has a […]

Simple black garlic bread rolls

A fairly new ingredient to me, I tried my first black garlic just the other day: I just peeled it and ate it as it was. I have to say, I had mixed feelings about the flavour:  concentrated balsamic vinegar with a hint of aniseed, with a sweet garlic flavour (more like roasted garlic flavour […]

Beetroot & toasted walnut sourdough

Beetroot bread is nothing new but I like to add walnuts to the dough for added crunch and the lovely flavour they give, which is a great complement to the slight earthiness you get from the beetroot here. I gently toasted the walnuts here to really bring out the flavour. The beetroot here is not over-powering, […]

Chocolate, cranberry & orange sourdough

Post updated: August 2016 (re-baked & re-photographed, with tips for a non-sourdough version) This sweet sourdough loaf is stuffed with juicy dried cranberries that have been soaked in orange juice, and chunks of dark chocolate. While the aroma of the dough as you work with it is wonderful, the smells wafting through the house as it […]

Chocolate & Orange Battenberg Cake

When I make a Battenberg cake I usually I go for a coffee and walnut one: my favourite cake flavours! This time, though, I’ve gone for orange and dark chocolate: not a million miles away, flavour-wise, from my jaffa gateau. How to make and assemble: The main recipe is as for coffee and walnut Battenberg (the […]

Local cheese & ale sourdough

A sourdough boule made from ingredients that are fairly local to me (Surrey). The cheese (Spenwood) is strong and nutty; the ale (Hogs Back Brewery) is so easy to drink! They do not take over from the deep tang of the bread but they are most certainly there as complementary bedfellows! Toasted and buttered, this bread is seriously heavenly; there is certainly […]

Roasted cauliflower cheese tart

If you love cauliflower cheese you really must make this tart! I have been making this particular tart for well over a decade, inspired initially by a savoury crumble I ate at a restaurant. Essentially this tart is a wholemeal pastry case filled with cauliflower cheese and topped with a savoury crumble. Perhaps the topping makes this […]

Easy fennel seed & smoked garlic sourdough grissini

These crisp grissini are easy to make and have bags of flavour. I like to make them using some sourdough starter that I had discarded prior to feeding the main starter, just adding more flour and water to give a dough that handled well. To be honest, you really do not need to be at all […]

“deconstructed pesto” sourdough loaf

  This is officially my favourite of the many types and flavours of breads that I make. It arose by wanting to flavour some of a batch of sourdough dough I had made and looking at ingredients I had in the kitchen for ideas. The result was a simple twist on pesto bread! I make traditional pesto […]

Simple caraway & cumin flatbreads with baba ghanoush

These simple flatbreads are wonderful with a full-on dip to dunk into with gusto. My dip of choice here is baba ghanoush, a wonderfully smoky aubergine dip. It is by far my favourite dip and having tried dozens of baba ghanoush recipes over the years, I now use the recipe below which is my amalgam of […]

Walnut & raisin sourdough

This is, I think, a very special bread, with a deep savoury flavour punctuated by bursts of juicy raisins amid the crunch of walnuts. I was given tasters of this bread at a local bakery the other day and immediately fell in love with it (although I was less in love with the price!), so […]

Another sourdough loaf – using a new starter

I am using new starters at the moment, so I need little excuse to play around with making sourdough loaves. This is a no frills loaf, made using organic white flour, although the starter had a couple of feeds with rye flour. But “no frills” in no way means any sacrifice on taste! I was […]

Pear, walnut & Gorgonzola sourdough

Post updated May 2016: further pictures on shaping added, along with pictures of slight loaf variations These full-flavoured loaves have been very much a firm favourite in our house for many years and while it is great as a non-sourdough bread, the sourdough version is seriously terrific. Of all the flavoured breads I make, this is one I make more than […]

Panzanella – store-cupboard style!

Panzanella is an absolute must in the summer and early autumn months, when fresh tomatoes, peppers and the like are ready to be picked and taste wonderful. I first posted about panzanella last summer, when I had a fresh produce from the allotment that were crying out to be used, but for this salad I decided […]

Camembert, Sultana & Ale Bread

Made with ripe Camembert that melts wonderfully into the dough as it bakes this is a seriously flavoured bread. I had this bread as part of an amazing bread selection served at a restaurant a while ago and couldn’t wait to try making it for myself. And for me a few stunning breads to nibble […]

Apple, walnut and cider bread

A particularly great loaf to eat with cheese, served with gutsy soups or made into sandwiches (ham and mustard sandwiches made with this bread are particularly good!). But just sliced and slathered with butter is a joy! There is a nice mixture of sweetness and sharpness to the bread from the apples and cider, and […]

Crab Cakes

A moreish and very easy recipe for crab cakes that I put together while thinking of ways of using up some white crabmeat. I added various ingredients that were at hand for these crab cakes and despite some strong flavours in the mixture, the sweet flavour of the crab shines through – as indeed it […]

Pain de Campagne

A gorgeous bread, with real flavour, this is a few notches above the supermarket artisinal breads – and it can be made for a fraction of the cost. Great just as it is with butter and jam but wonderful toasted for breakfast. The simplest of life’s pleasures! Pre-ferment: This is pretty much a standard recipe […]

Making Sourdoughs

Originally posted on bakingfanatic:
Post updated: September 2016 (a few new photographs added) Introduction The “stretch and fold” method for making sourdough Recipe for standard sourdough loaves Simple flavour variations The sourdough starter (making a starter from scratch; maintaining & feeding the starter) The more traditional kneading method Rising: bulk fermentation & the final proof Shaping Turning out…

Making Sourdough bread

Post updated: September 2016 (a few new photographs added) Introduction The “stretch and fold” method for making sourdough Recipe for standard sourdough loaves Simple flavour variations The sourdough starter (making a starter from scratch; maintaining & feeding the starter) The more traditional kneading method Rising: bulk fermentation & the final proof Shaping Turning out the dough If the […]

Amuse-bouches: why stop at just one?

I am such a fan of amuse-bouches/canapés or just a good selection of nibbles: at a restaurant it is often these appetisers that intrigue me the most. I can honestly eat them one after another (the mark of a good canapé) and there are times when I would be happy to forego a meal, opting […]

Sourdoughs – the king of breads

I cannot get enough of sourdoughs and an honest sourdough, with no frills and no pretence at being anything other than the good loaf it is, is a very hard thing to beat first thing in the morning. Especially when toasted and generously buttered. It might not be a champagne breakfast at an exclusive country […]

Simple smoked mackerel canapés

Updated: March 2016 In this post I have given two recipes: one for my version of smoked mackerel pâté and one for gooseberry chutney. Crunchy, with a rich smoked flavour and a sharp tang, this is my simple canapé version of a wonderful mackerel starter I had in a restaurant some time ago. As the […]

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