Saturday, 25 November 2017

Milk Kefir Sourdough and Buckwheat Blinis

above mug with MK, flour used to make the starter. Then dough for kneading.

I was recently given some milk kefir grains and have made several batches of milk kefir to put on breakfast fruit, muesli. porridge etc.
I used one batch to make buckwheat blinis, delicious!
So next I thought I would experiment with making sourdough bread. I used to make it using a sourdough starter but found the dough very sticky and unmanagable . The results were variable.
I looked online and found that you can make a starter using milk kefir (MK)
So I experimented. I mixed a cup of MK whith a cup of strong wholewheat flour and left it at room temperature till it bubbled up. (1-2 days) 

I found this recipe and based mine on it but with some changes. I used sugar instead of honey and after 12 hours put the dough in a container in the fridge to ferment for another 24 hours.
The dough was a bit sticky to start with but easier to handle and much easier to get off hands and worktop and bowl than my previous sourdough. (see photo at the end of the post!)
After fermantation it was elastic and not sticky.

my MK sourdough starter as above
4 1/2 cups strong white breadflour
1 1/2 cups water
2tsp sugar
2tsp salt
2 tbs olive oil

I took off enough dough for 4 rolls and put them on an oiled Le Creuset in a warm place to prove for about 30 min. I put the rest back in the fridge for another day.
They were cooked at Gas 6 for about 15 min. There was a container with some water at the bottom of the oven to make steam for a crispy crust.

The rolls were delicious, slightly sweet rather than sour with a nice crisp crust and a good flavour.
They were rather flat looking but the texture inside was good. Next time I will try to make them taller and maybe give a little longer to prove.

 here are the results.

Would be lovely for a pizza base.

It is suitable for the FODMAP diet as the fructose/oligosccarides are fermented by the micro organisms in the milk kefir.

Update Dec 3rd
I used the rest of the dough for a pizza and it made a nice thin crispy base.
I made another batch of dough substituting I cup of white flour with I cup of rye flour.
The flavour was different. The rolls didn't rise much as before.

 Previous sourdough made with a traditional starter

 Very sticky dough dificult to handle and clear up after. This was one of the better batches!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Apple Peeler Slicer Corer

This sturdy and ingenious piece of kit has a suction cup at the base to secure it to the worktop. The apple is pushed on to the prongs lining it up along its core. Turn the handle and ribbons of peel spiral off like spaghetti while the apple is sliced and cored in just seconds. Great for apple pies. The thickness of the peel can be adjusted.

The slicing and coring bit can be moved aside if you only want to peel. Ideal for getting ribbons of orange zest.

Available  here This is the cast iron and stainless steel version. It is based on an original Victorian design.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Two Magpies Bakery Southwold

 The Two Magpies (for more info click here )  is an artisan bakery in Southwold. and a little gem not to be missed. There are a few seats inside and one small table outside, altogether room for about 16. The seats were all taken so we waited till something became available, we sat at the table outside.

The coffee was excellent and accompanied by the most delicious buttery plum frangipane tart! Well worth the wait.
If I was staying in Southwold I would probably be in there every day. Everything is available to eat in or take away.
There are GF options available.

A few passers by stopped to look in the window and commented on the prices being too high. I thought the prices we justified given the quality. Maybe they were used to something mass produced from a chain.
I returned late in the afternoon and most things were sold. I left with a chocolate hazelnut brownie.

Beautiful selection of sour dough breads

                         and savoury treats,

Supersize (rose and pistachio?) meringues and triple choc roundies, so spoilt for choice!

On leaving I noticed that the tiled floor at the entrance tells what this was before it was a bakery.

We climbed over 200 steps to the top of the lighthouse which should have helped to work off some of the calories.

Southwold pier from the lighthouse.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Nonsuch Mansion Cheam

Nonsuch Mansion is a Geogian gem built in a Tudor-Gothic style with walled gardens. It is in beautiful Nonsuch Park 
On open days you can visit the Service Wing that has been restored and is shown in the Victorian-era There is a dairy, sculleries, kitchen, larders and  laundries. It is well worth a visit. There's lots to see and plenty of information about the people who lived and worked here. For more details please click  here

Nonsuch had a supply of ice from its own ice house. Below are 2 ice cream makers from that era.



 I like the designs of these iron stands.

 Several irons could be kept hot.

 The Orchid room in the Mansion

Monday, 17 April 2017

Japanese Cheescake

This recipe came from a Japanese friend called Shigeko.
It's very light unlike the usual American baked cheesecake. It's closer to a souffle.
There are other recipes on the internet that include a bit of flour. This one doesn't so is gluten free.

I added orange zest to the mixture. it wasn't in the original recipe.

225g cream cheese
 (I used Farmhouse curd cheese or you could used Philly plus a little milk to soften.)
2 large eggs separated
1/4 cup caster sugar
Grated zest of orange( 1/4 -1/2 area of orange surface)
Orange slices halved

142 ml sour cream
1/4 cup castor sugar

To Make
Mix the egg yolks, cream cheese, sugar and orange zest in one bowl.
In another bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peak stage. If you tip the bowl a little the whisked egg whites should stay put.
Add this to the first bowl and fold in gently.
Transfer the mix to a buttered 8 in round pyrex dish.
Bake at gas 3 170C for 35-40 min.
 Switch off he oven after the cooking time is up and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 5-10 min more to flatten. Then pour the topping  over and the cheesecake return to the oven for 10 more minutes.
Leave to cool then arrange orange slices on top.

 I didn't have any sour cream so I used some full fat yogurt, added a little sugar and spread it on the top of the cooled cheescake with the orange slices.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Ametsa at COMO Halkin for Lunch

Ametza with Arzak Instruction at the COMO Halkin details here

The food was fab-u-lous!!

Glass test tubes of spices are suspended from the ceiling and I could smell the fragrance on entering the restaurant.