baking bread

A Taste of Spring

I’m loving the longer days, it gives a chance to get out in the hills more. The wild garlic is back and ready for picking. If picking in the wild it’s best to take just a couple of leaves from each plant. Although the flower heads are edible I like to leave these on the plant. I’ve been making my favourite pesto again.

Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto

  • 100g wild garlic chopped
  • 75g walnuts
  • 150 – 200ml extra virgin rapessed oil
  • salt and pepper

Place in processor with the nuts and blend together. Add the oil and blend again.

Season with salt and pepper.

Wild garlic also makes a lovely addition to a salad and I add leaves to my tofu flan. I plan to use some in my soda bread  see last blog post for the recipe. This will naturally be served with wild garlic soup.

Wild Garlic and Potato Soup                                                    

  • 1 onion chopped
  • garlic clove crushed
  • handful of wild garlic, chopped (approx 25g)
  • 100g potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp bouillon powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg freshly ground
  • ½ litre water (approx)

Sauté the onion and garlic in a saucepan until soft.  Add the potatoes and bouillon powder, cover with water and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Add more liquid if needed. Add the chopped wild garlic and ground nutmeg and cook for two minutes.

Cool slightly, and blend soup using a blender. Reheat to serve. Add a swirl of soya cream to each dish.

 

wild garlic in the garden

 

 

Lovely Lunch

I enjoyed teaching my Thai cookery class last week so had some lovely fragrant ingredients leftover. With spring approaching I also thought it was a good time to use up the last of the autumn squashes. So I adapted my pumpkin soup recipe, and added grated ginger, lemongrass and a cup of coconut milk. It was rather yummy served with some freshly made soda bread.

 

Thai style soup

Thai style soup

Herby Soda Bread

 

Soda bread is really quick and easy to make. Bicarbonate of soda is used rather than yeast.

 

  • 500g plain white/wholemeal flour mixed
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp chopped chives
  • 400ml ‘buttermilk’*
  • *Dairy free ‘buttermilk’ is made by adding 4 tsp lemon juice or cider vinegar to 400ml soya milk. Stir and leave to stand for 10 minutes before using.

Preheat oven to gas 6/electric 200°C.

Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl; add the liquid.

Mix to make rough sticky dough.

Tip dough out onto lightly floured work surface.

Shape the dough into a ball.

Dust the dough with flour and score a deep cross on the top with a bread knife.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the bread is cooked through. When you tap the base it should sound hollow.  Cool on a wire rack.

 

Our Lizzy soup recipe

Learning to make sourdough bread

I love eating sourdough bread but making it had always been a mystery! I recently teamed up with Janice Bell of Bread at Home to learn how to make the perfect loaf.

Our Soups and Sourdough day was great fun with Janice teaching the bread and myself teaching a variety of homemade soups to compliment the bread.

Janice Bell of Bread at Home

Janice Bell of Bread at Home

Sourdough is the older traditional way of making bread and was widely used before yeast was manufactured. It is actually a lot easier as there is less kneading involved – it’s just a question of working out what time you would like your bread cooked and working backwards in stages.

Sourdough starter is mixed with water and flour to make a sponge this is left over night and mixed with water, flour and some salt to create a very soft dough. Working the gluten involves giving the dough a really good stretch!
stretch the dough

After lots of time for resting prepare proving baskets with a dusting of rice flour. Then shape the loaves, place in the baskets and leave to rest.
prepare proving baskets

When the dough is fully proved turn onto a tray, slash and bake in a hot oven.

A finished loaf!

A finished loaf!

I’m looking forward to baking sourdough on a regular basis for B and B guests. If you are interested in learning how to make sourdough or other sorts of bread please get in touch with myself or Janice for course details. http://www.ourlizzy.com http://breadmakingworkshops.co.uk/