This form does not yet contain any fields.

    Entries in "rose levy beranbaum" (17)


    Walnut Fougasse: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers 

                                                  walnut fougasse 

    Join me on Facebook

    Not only have I mucked up the order of baking, the walnut fougasse is supposed to be the bake for March, I've used the wrong flour. I used strong (bread flour) when it was plain (all purpose) that was called for. Still a testament to Rose's 'The Bread Bible' recipe that I still ended up with delicious crisp, yet chewy, walnut studded bread. 

    Fogasse: the French cousin of the focaccia, often slashed to resemble an ear of wheat, I loved this bread, reminded me of a pretzel focaccia cross. 

    The bread today uses walnut oil. One of my favourite ever oils with it's fantastic deep nutty flavour perfect for salad dressings, toss through pasta and as a finishing oil. 

    The bread was started with flour and yeast that were whisked together, salt was added and whisked in. 

    I added my own fresh sage and lemon zest, the backyard lemon tree leads to lemon being in umm, just about everything. Lemon gives a faux sour dough quality to the bread too. 

    The lemon zest and sage were whisked in. 

    Scalded milk and a few tablespoons of walnut oil are added, first mixed to rough dough and then kneaded by dough hook fitted mixer or hand until you have an elastic and just barely sticky dough.

    You need coarsely broken walnuts at this stage. 

    The walnuts are incorporated by hand. 

    The dough formed into a ball is then coated in more walnut oil and goes off the rise for around an hour. 

    The dough is turned out, more walnut oil is added and again it goes off to rise. Again the dough is turned out and *more oil is added and goes off for a third rise.

    I rolled the dough in a rectangle, gave it a letter turn and it was covered to rest for 30 minutes.

    Yay!! up to the shaping bit, place your dough on prepared baking sheet, and roll or press it out into a 9x15 by half an inch oval.

    Measuring with my only ruler that has imperial measurements on it.  

    More walnut oil was brushed on and dough was slashed into head of wheat pattern.  Using your fingers to stretch open the pattern.  

    Final rise time now, about 15 minutes. Stretch open any gaps that have closed and pop the tray into your prepared oven. I sprinkled on sea salt flakes at this stage, love lemon, sage, walnut and salt combo

    A great center piece bread for a BBQ or your Easter table. Full flavoured and delicious unadulterated.

    A crispy crust plus pretzel chew, moist interior with a great walnut substance to it.  

    Warm I found the bread a little oily, and unsuitable for oil dipping and dukkah (I tried)... I would like to reduce the oil a litte next time I make it. Plus I would like try replacing the milk with water or a milk substitute as this would make a great vegan bread to serve with with hummus and charred veg.  

    Add a bottle of red and your all set. 

    Happy Baking :) 

    Today has been one of the 'Rose's Bread Bible Bakers' bakes where a group of fabulous bakers get together and bake from the pages of 'The Bread Bible'. The Bread Bibleby Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores.

    Know a 'Beatles' fan? You might want to make an octopus's garden cupcake for easter, don't we all?  


    Olive Bread: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers


                                                  Olive bread 'The Bread Bible'

    Join me on Facebook

    I love an olive baguette, stands to reason I was looking forward to baking Rose's olive bread. 

    Started with making a 'biga' (an Italian pre-ferment), it's easy, combine flour, a little instant yeast, a tad of optional malt powder with room temperature water.

    Stirred until smooth and it comes away from the side of the bowl.

    Placed in an oiled two cup container and covered for six hours, it's ready to use at this point or pop in fridge for up to three days. Mine was refrigerated for two days.

    Ready for the mixer now (instructions are also included for hand and food processor mixing in 'The Bread Bible'). Flour, more yeast, biga are mixed together with water until a rough dough forms.

    Rough dough mixed

    After a short covered rest, salt is added and the dough is returned to the mixer to be kneaded until smooth.

    Dough is covered and given a short time to relax before the olives are added. 

    chopped kalamata olives mixed with a little flour

    Dough is allowed to rise now until doubled in size. Shaped in a banneton or colander lined with a tea towel... and this the stage there is a slight hiccup, ok LARGE hiccup. 

    I go to preheat the oven and the electrics were out, I could light the gas with a match but I can't run the oven without the fan. 

    I stayed calm... ha ha no I didn't I had tears running down my face despite self talking to myself to "toughen up". I went and punched down the partially risen shaped loaf and froze the dough. 

    Oh the fuse box!! Apparently you are supposed the check the fuse box outside, which I did the next day. Even though the switch marked oven was on there was a random unmarked switch down... yep, oven back on YAY!

    Soooo, I defrosted the dough and baked it off in a batard (torpedo) loaf shape because it was faster. 

    Hmmm, I thought the dough didn't look right defrosted and reshaped, though apart from not getting as much crust as I expect I would have gotten without freezing... all was good, delicious in fact. Well flavoured, moist, light but with just enough bite in the texture. 

    Now the tomatoes... Nanna loved a grilled tomato and always made me grilled tomatoes on toast for breakfast, I liked them but like fresh too so I went a bit "Ottolenghi" and caramelised half the tomatoes in a pan, keeping the other half raw. Mixed together they top my olive toast. With a lemon olive dressing, baby basil and rough cut herbs, the best ever Sunday brunch on a hot summers day.

    Happy Baking :) 

    Today has been one of the 'Rose's Bread Bible Bakers' bakes where a group of fabulous bakers get together and bake from the pages of 'The Bread Bible'.

    The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores.  

    You might also like Little Lemon and Lime Lamingtons Australia Day January 26th.   


    "Levy's" Real Jewish Rye Bread: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

    "Levy's" Real Jewish Rye Bread 'The Bread Bible'

    Join me on Facebook

    Rose speaks of in 'The Bread Bible' that she likes rye bread 'studded with constellations of caraway seeds' and apparently I do too!! 

    Ahh that moment your loaf of bread is so awesomely "perfect" and you are so excited and then realise it's hard to get people enthusiastic over a loaf of bread, but "dang" this was my perfect loaf, turning the corner, light bulb type moment in bread making.  

    It started with me making a sponge (a starter), bread flour, rye flour, instant yeast, sugar, barley malt syrup and warm water all go in bowl.

    Then it's mixed until it forms a smooth batter bubbly with air.

    Ok, we are up to whisking the remainder of the bread flour with more instant yeast, caraway seeds and salt. The flour mixture was gently spooned over the sponge and covered with plastic wrap for night in the fridge.

    Next morning there was much bubbling coming through the flour blank and after coming back to room temperature I used the kitchen aid (there is instructions for hand mixing) to knead.  

    The resulting dough was placed in a raising container and allowed to rise for a couple of hours. Once risen the dough was shaped into a rectangle and given a business letter turn before going off for another rise.

    I'd already decided I wouldn't use the cloche to bake the bread as another bread bible baker mentioned the loaf was large and I too wanted smaller slices so a batard loaf seemed right. 

    Almost all went wrong at this point as I was following Rose's excellent video on how to shape a batard (torpedo) loaf when I realised my loaf was too long for the baking sheet. I did the thing known as "emergency squashing the ends", which you shouldn't do, but do pre measure your baking sheet.  

    *note my dough was dimpled because it's a rye bread, ditto I didn't spritz with water... and I have started with squashing the ends in this photo ha ha!

    Into my preheated (hot) oven, I placed my loaf on a silpat lined baking tray onto the already heated baking tray in the oven. Ice cubes were added to another tray in the bottom of the oven to create steam. 

    TAAA DAAA!! Ok don't judge it's acutally a dodgy phone pic.. with a ruler next to it to show the length, this is my life I'm sending out photos of my bread to friends.

    And the interior, it wouldn't be a message to my friends if I didn't include "and look at the inside!!" pic.

    I am seriously happy with this texture and flavour of this bread, well seasoned it's a just eat alone bread and made wonderful sandwiches but I thought I'd show you one of the things I do with the "close to the end" bits.

    I make "salad crisps" from bits of homemade bread. Slice as thinly as you can, it's ok if you get odd shaped pieces. Lay out your thin bread slicees on a lined baking tray and either brush lightly with a neutral oil (didn't want to interfere with caraway flavour) or spray with cooking oil and bake in a hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Sprinkle with sea salt is desired. Perfect to add a textural element to a salad of fresh pickled red radishes, smoked salmon, avocado and some assorted "leaves". 

    Happy Baking :) 

    Today has been one of the 'Rose's Bread Bible Bakers' bakes where a group of fabulous bakers get together and bake from the pages of 'The Bread Bible'.

    The Bread Bibleby Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores. 

    You might also be interested in a little bit of retro with Honey Joy Cupcakes


    Rich and Creamy Ginger Scones: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

    Rich and Creamy Ginger Scones 'The Bread Bible'

    Join me on Facebook

    Scones. Ginger Scones. Rich and Creamy Ginger Scones!! 

    These little suckers live up to their name, they are "rich and creamy" and certainly ginger-y with ginger coming from two forms "ground and candied".

    Australia has a history of ginger farming/production, dating back to pre world war one.

    early photo of ginger cutters working for Buderim -Queensland Australia

    I love Australian Buderim candied ginger in all it's forms.

    I used the middle one today, glace ginger for the 'Rich and Creamy Ginger Scones'.

    You needed super cold cubed butter and chilled cream whipped to soft peaks to start today's scones.

    cubed butter ready to go into the freezer to chill

    Flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, turbinado sugar, lemon zest are whizzed together in a food processor before the cold butter is added for another whizz until the mixture resembles fine meal. 

    The flour mixture is tipped in a bowl, where you add the chopped ginger pieces, make a well and add the whipped cream.  The resulting dough is briefly kneaded and chilled before cutting.

    Ahhh I here comes the Australian bit, I just don't understand the trianglular shape of American scones so I'm going "British" and I cut small round ones instead of triangles. 

    I froze my rounds at this point because I had to have perfect "round" shapes ha ha. The little pieces of chilled butter in the dough will result in the light, short and melt in the mouth quality of the finished scones. 

    I didn't put extra sugar on top of the scones before baking as I was going to be serving with peach fruit preserve. 

    Scones are baked in a hot oven until evenly browned but still soft and moist inside. They are the first scones I've eaten that literally melt in your mouth they are so tender. I love the flavour of these, even though they a bit on the "too rich" side for me I can imagine them being popular for a brunch or afternoon tea served with plenty of black tea and lemon. 

    Today has been one of the 'Rose's Bread Bible Bakers' bakes where a group of fabulous bakers get together and bake from the pages of 'The Bread Bible'.

    The Bread Bibleby Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores. 

    Happy Baking :)

    You might also be interested in Aunty Clare's chocolate frog grog.  


    Irish Soda Bread: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

                                 Irish Soda Bread 'The Bread Bible'

    Join me on Facebook

    I haven't been around much, my Dad passed away in October and I'm feeling sad. I didn't really want to bake but it has helped having something to do, even though I had lots of "family food memory" tears from the first scoop of flour.  

    Ha, ha my Aunty Clare would not have been happy I didn't have any whiskey in the pantry, as Aunty Clare did believe whiskey made everything better. However, I did have a bottle of Irish Whiskey liqueur so I could go ahead and bake Rose Levy Beranbaum's rather special version of 'Irish Soda Bread'. 

    Not a strong tipple that puts hairs on your chest but rather a gentler caramel, butterscotch Irish Whiskey concoction.  I love it!! It's whiskey dessert in a bottle.

    My step son is living and working in Dublin at the moment and he tells me soda bread is common place and known simply as "brown bread'.

    Daniel and his lovely Irish girlfriend Emer... Galway Ireland

    Rose's deluxe version of Irish soda bread starts off with soaking raisins in *Irish whiskey (for me the liqueur) for at least 30 minutes.

    I've used Australian raisins from the Walthcross and Lexia grape varietals, they are flattish, moist and sweet with a distinct muscat flavour.

    Next wholemeal flour, white flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) are stirred together.

    Butter is then rubbed in... Australians will be familiar with this method we usually use for scones. 

    The whiskey plumped raisins are added and then buttermilk is stirred in. 

    Shaped into a round loaf, a cross was cut in the top and the Irish soda bread was in baked in a preheated oven until golden. 

    There was an option to make to whiskey butter with the soaking liquid from the raisins, sounded delicious but since I was serving with whiskey I didn't make it this time around. 

    I liked the soda bread best warm, the texture is robust but not heavy and definitely suited to a swoop of butter whether that be Kerry Gold or Rose's recipe for whiskey butter.  

     A quick, easy and tasty bake. 

    *Note I'd swap the whiskey out for the same volume of strongly brewed black tea for the raisin soaking liquid  if I needed to go alcohol free.  

    Oh, and congratulation wishes to Emer who graduated this week!! 

    Happy Baking xx

    Today has been one of the 'Rose's Bread Bible Bakers' bakes where a group of fabulous bakers get together and bake from the pages of 'The Bread Bible'.

    The Bread Bibleby Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores. 

     You might also be interested in a recipe for  Half a Grasshopper Pie

    or perhaps Tiesen Sinamon (Welsh Cinnamon Cake) cupcakes


    Basic Hearth Bread: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

    Basic Hearth Bread 'The Bread Bible'

    Join me on Facebook

    Yup, I'm running late with everything this month but I still had time to make this rustic bread from Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'The Bread Bible'. 

    A few simple ingredients are put together in a bowl....

    white bread flour, wholemeal flour, instant yeast and *honey 

    Warm water is added and the mixture is whisked to incorporate air. That's the dough starter (sponge) ready to be topped with more flour and a little more yeast. Off to ferment now, that's the sponge not me. 

    Love this bit, the bubbles coming through the flour blanket.

    Mixed altogether to form a rough dough. Salt is added, looks a lot in pic but it's only 10 grams. 

    After seven more minutes mixing in the *KitchenAid the dough is smooth. 

    There is rising time at this point, then business turning/folding going on and then more rising. 

    After the rise and tying into the "running late" I was rushing and didn't take photos of the shaping/slashing bit, the instructions in the book are precise and detailed.  

    The loaves went to rise for around an hour, before slashing and pattern making on the tops.

    a lame: double sided blade used to slash loaves

    I used a slightly concaved bread lame for the single cross slash and used round metal cookie cutters to cut a graduating circular pattern, I sprinkled flour on the circular pattern before baking. I also used a plastic Mickey mouse cookie cutter to "indent" a pattern in the smaller loaves I made.  Then they were all baked in hot oven on slipats, with trays and ice ... it's all explained in the book. 

    And now the eating bit.

    Fresh is good, Vegemite toast is better!! 

    Vegemite on toasted hearth bread

    I like the pretty edge that the circular cookie cutters created on the hearth bread, here topped with a Greek yoghurt beet and mint dip, pickled beet, feta and cashews.  

    Would I change anything? No, this bread is a great all rounder everyday bread. I do want to bake this bread in a loaf pan as Rose suggests it would make a great sandwich bread. 


    *Rose does include instructions for making the bread by hand. 

    *Subsitute the honey for golden syrup for a vegan loaf of bread. 

    Happy Baking :)  

    Today has been one of the 'Rose's Bread Bible Bakers' bakes where a group of fabulous bakers get together and bake from the pages of 'The Bread Bible'.

    The Bread Bibleby Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores. 

    You might also be interested in quick and easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Spiders


    Sticky Caramel Buns: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

    Sticky Caramel Buns 'The Bread Bible' 

    Join me on Facebook

    Oooo these buns today remind me of a cross between a Chelsea bun and golden syrup dumplings.

    A soft and buttery enriched dough is filled and rolled, a "golden syrup dumpling sauce" with brown sugar, butter, golden syrup and touch of cream is added to the base of your cake pans. Bake it all together for today's light, buttery and certainly sticky 'Sticky Caramel Buns'.  

    It's not a Tuesday night after work bake, it's the leisurely weekend type bake when you have a bit of time and can't make it through Sunday without a sweet treat.  

    The recipe calls for a batch of Rose's basic brioche dough that begins with making a sponge.

    The "sponge" is a yeast starter. I made mine in a mixer. 

    A flour mixture is then sprinkled over the sponge and two hours later you'll have bubbles rising through the blanket of flour in parts. 

    Using my stand mixer eggs and softened butter were beaten in. 

    The dough goes off to warm spot to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    After rising the resulting dough is off to the fridge. Brioche, like other enriched breads has a refrigerator period to solidify the butter and make the dough easier to handle.  Pictured I'm I'm gently deflating before another rest and chill time. 

    The brioche dough was then turned out onto a floured bench top. 

    Then dough is rolled out and given a business letter turn. Fold one. 

    Fold two. 

    Business folded once more. Fold three. 

    Fold four.

    Now it goes to "sleep" or you do, the dough is wrapped in loosely but securely in plastic wrap and placed in a zip lock bag. I didn't have a bag so I put mine in a plastic container. In the fridge it goes for between 6 and 48 hours to depending your schedule... you rule the brioche... something to tell yourself anyway. 

    YAY! it's the next day your dough has matured.

    You have soaked your sultanas (US raisins) in *rum and water and reserved the water to make the glaze later on. I used bourbon because there ummm "wasn't any rum in the cupboard". 

    Rose uses light Muscovado sugar in this recipe but says light brown sugar would be fine. Muscovado is quite flavourful and worth seeking out on your next grocery run. 

    Another bowl holds the rest of your sticky bun filling of light muscovado sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and roasted chopped pecans ready to be stirred together. 

    Next the sticky bun topping.  Light muscavdo, golden syrup and unsalted butter are brought to the boil.  I did add something extra, a good pinch of salt.  Cream is added before boiling again and pouring into the base of your cake pan.

    I have a lot cake pans and even though Rose does include an extensive cake pan size guide in the book I never seem to have the right ones, Australian cake pans are differently sized.  So I went with a six cup sphere silicone mould and a non stick 22cm cake pan. There is supposed to pecans in the bottom of the pan/pans but due to FUSSY ha ha people that don't like whole nuts I caramelised pecans to serve separately. I popped a food ring in the centre on the non stick pan so I could make a bun wreath. 

    You're up to rolling the dough out now,  it's a wonderfully easy dough to work with rolls out beautifully to the 14 by 12 inch (approx 35 by 30 cm) rectangle. 

    The dough is brushed with beaten egg and the filling along with the drained sultanas are sprinkled over the surface. The dough is rolled using the ruler to help guide the role if necessary.  

    The roll is cut into four pieces, intern each piece is cut into three giving you 12 spiral buns. Six went in the sphere moulds, six in the cake pan, both went off covered with oiled plastic wrap to a warm spot to rise once more.  

    A glaze is made by reducing the reserved sultana water and adding butter.

    Once the final rise is over, it's time to brush them with the *glaze and bake! Oh you did preheat the oven for an hour and placed inside a baking tray or oven stone to heat.  They took about 25 minutes and were covered with foil after the first ten so they didn't over brown. 

    Here is the cake pan buns hot from the oven. Turned out after a few minutes so the bottom becomes the top.

    Torn apart to peak at the interior of the buns.  The texture is light and airy. Flavours of cinnamon, toasted pecans complement the juicy bourbon sultanas and butter caramel topping.   

    My favourite shape was the half sphere ones, the spiral pattern was distinctive and round and they had the cute domed tops or is that bottoms?

    How I'd serve them: either traditional afternoon tea style, tea with lemon or modern as in top pic, adding generous swipes of Crème fraîche on the platter, extra caramel sauce, scatter the pecans, a few fresh raspberries and break your buns, dip in Crème fraîche, drizzle more caramel ... it's sticky and fun eating. Both traditional and modern I would add an "acid" component, even though the golden syrup is slightly acidic I like more so lemon in the tea, berries, Crème fraîche etc.  

    Would I change anything: I want more booze or at the other end of the spectrum swap the alcohol out for verjuice. Not sure about the sultana water glaze, I'd probably omit that as I don't think it added much. If I didn't add salt to the caramel I would have used sea salt flakes on top. 

    Rose's brioche recipe is my all time favourite for sweet and savoury applications, it's always light but sturdy enough to become a burger bun, buttery but not too buttery, hits all the right notes for a "doing that again"

    Fun making my first sticky buns, ha ha I definitely have a gap in my baking repertoire "America" pretty much the whole of America. I always say "it's the first time I've baked.........".  

    Happy Baking :)  

    Today has been one of the 'Rose's Bread Bible Bakers' bakes where a group of fabulous bakers get together and bake from the pages of 'The Bread Bible'.

     The Bread Bibleby Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores. 

    You might also be interested in making a butterflies.   

    or a little bit of happiness making the Partridge Family birds. 


    Flaky Scones: Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

    Flaky Scones 'The Bread Bible' 

    Blame it on the Vegemite?? I'm feeling particularly like I'm from a foreign land, with these rich, flaky and moist (American) scones. The scones are nothing like the scones we, or the Country Women's Association bake in Australia.

    I found these scones far, far too rich with cream and butter for my palate. A country to country difference perhaps, after all I start my day with black salty yeast paste spread liberally on toasted bread.  

    The flaky scones began with whisking together flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb (baking soda), salt. I added the zest of a lemon too.  

    Chilled cubed butter was added by pressing with my fingertips to form large flakes. Cream was stirred in until the mixture was moistened and starting to come together in large clumps.

    Currants were then added and after a brief knead the dough was turned out onto a board.

    1. Sultanas 2. currants 3. raisins... the three mainstay dried grapes in Australia. Currants are my favourites! The first written record of the thin skinned tiny grapes was in 75 AD, making them one of the oldest raisin varieties. The currants I used today are from the Carina varietal, a tangy plump currant perfect for currant buns and scones.

    Back to the scone dough which is rolled out into a 8x12 inch rectangle.  

    The dough is folded in thirds, rotated, rolled out again this step is repeated three more times. Refrigerating between turns for 15 minute intervals if your pastry is becoming too soft and sticking. 

    My friends daughter Emma told me this week that high school Food technology does not let you make scones or muffins due to the processes being too simple, I would presume the lamination of these scones would make them the exception to that rule. What you are doing here is similar to making rough puff, trapping those steam producing cold butter flakes in the dough.  

    Now it's time for cutting, your pastry is trimmed and cut into 2 pieces measuring 4 inches by 12 inches. Rose calls for triangles, four in total to be cut from each piece. Scraps are re-rolled and cut. 

    I cut two round scones from the scrapes (the traditional shape of scones in Australia) with my vintage, well and truly vintage cutter. It wasn't only cooking I learnt at technical trade (alternative high school), I also had shop classes like woodwork and sheet metal... been using this scone cutter every since. 

    Bake!! The scones are baked on baking trays placed on a pre heated baking stone or tray in a hot oven until golden. The resulting scones are moist, flaky but yet "substantial", my Mum would have said "rib sticking". Deep golden bottoms and lightly golden flaky top with a moist and flaky interior, these scones are best eaten warm or reheated following Rose's instructions.

    Flaky scones might not be my cup of tea but they could be yours! That is the great thing about Rose's 'The Bread Bible' and the subsequent Bread Bible Bakers group, trying out new recipes and you're sure to find something for everyone.  

    The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum is available from Amazon and all discerning book stores.

    Happy Baking :)  

    You might also be interested in a food processor White Chocolate Plastique recipe

    You might also be interested in something savoury with Shark Nuggets 


    100 percent Whole Wheat Walnut Loaf Rose's Alpha Bakers

    100% Whole Wheat Walnut Loaf 'The Baking Bible'

    Join me on Facebook

    Brrrr, baby it's cold outside! It's been hailing off and on all day and rumours of snow in a nearby suburb in the hills, I say "rumoured" because we do all get excited about even one flake of snow. 

    Walnut bread toasted (grilled) aged cheddar cheese sandwiches and pumpkin soup with a hint of orange, the perfect starter to ward off winter chills. 

    100% Whole Wheat (in Australia we say wholemeal) Walnut Bread is a fabulously flavoured versatile bread, lets get started.... 

    I started by making the dough starter (sponge), wholemeal flour, water, honey and yeast are combined. To make a vegan bread swap the honey out for golden syrup.   

    The mixture is whisked to incorporate air, it will resemble a thin batter. 

    Time to make the dough now with more wholemeal flour, *gluten flour and instant yeast are sprinkled over the sponge starter forming a blanket of flour. 

    An hour later and there is bubbles bubbling up through the flour. 

    Ok better toast and break up the walnuts now, 166 grams to be exact are toasted in the oven and the then the skins are removed. 

    Shhh, I cheated and used a photo of removing walnut skin from the Stilton Cheesecake story.

    With the dough hook fitted on my mixer, dough is mixed and then rested for 20 minutes. Back to mixing now with the addition of walnut oil, salt and toasted walnut pieces before going off to rise.

    The first rise. 

    The second rise. 

    After turning out the risen dough the dough is "dimpled" using your fingertips to get rid of air bubbles. The dough is shaped and put into prepared tin (I used four small tins instead of one large) and then off to rise for the last time before baking. 

    Over half way through last rise, almost time to go into the pre heated oven. 

    Baked, cooled and it's time to eat!!  

    It's not the "prettiest" bread but boy served fresh with blue cheese and pear and it's a wonderful combination of flavours. Plus it's easy to slice thinly, like what I used in the aged cheddar cheese toasted sandwiches paired with the pumpkin soup today.

    Oh, oh, oh mini loaves would make the best hostess gift, wrap the centre of the loaf with brown or baking paper, tie with kitchen string, throw in a chunk of blue or a bottle of red for a unique and welcome hostess gift.

    This bread is also great for vegetarians/vegans, high in protein, low GI and perfect to serve with your favourite veggie stew.  

    Also great "baker's treat"... toasted crusts of walnut loaf with French fine cut marmalade. 

    Happy Baking :) 

    *Gluten flour: we used gluten flour to promote rise and texture in today's bread. The gluten is in the whole wheat flour but the wheat germ is blocking the release so you use added gluten, a protein composite from wheat and related grains. This gives you not only extra "lift" in rising it also provides the characteristic "chew" we associate with bread. It's why you add various gums to gluten free bread trying to recreate the chew gluten provides.  Gluten flour is also used extensively in vegan and vegetarian cuisine to create seitan and in asian cooking for dishes such as like "mock duck". 

    Would I bake again? Yes, loved it for "something different to serve" factor.. plus tasted great. 

    Would I change anything?  I loved it as is, I would continue to bake smaller sized loaves. I'd like to try halving the walnut weight and adding either dried apricots or dried muscatel grapes for a fruit/nut loaf. 

     How it works... now I've joined the fabulous existing alpha bakers, once a month I will post about what I have baked from Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'The Baking Bible'. This won't include the recipe due to copyright and publisher restrictions however, I will be posting how it went and photos of making/baking the gorgeous baked goods.

    The Baking Bible available from Amazon and all discerning book retailers. 

    You might also be interested in Amore Frangelico Truffles, rich in mascarpone and chocolate!



    ElderBlueberry Pie (with no elderberries) Rose's Alpha Bakers

    ElderBlueberry Pie (with no elderberries instead blackcurrants and blueberries) 'The Baking Bible'

    Join me on Facebook

    Apparently elderberries grow well in Australia, so my local nursery man told me. Yet I have never seen one, an elderberry that is. All about elderberries on Wikipedia

    We love a savoury pie here, usually red meat but poultry, seafood and veg pies are also popular. Perhaps that is the reason we don't have a fruit pie culture in Australia, ummm "apple" you might have apple pie over winter or perhaps an aunt might whip up an apple/rhubarb pie.  Add in a mini fruit mince pie or three at Christmas and that's your dessert pie eating over for the year. We do like tarts and tarte Tatin but the double pie crust is a hard sell without the meat! 

    This is supposed to be a family sized pie, but I went with "mini pies" to give sample pies out for my first ever berry pie.

    Starting with Rose's 'Perfect Flaky and Tender Cream Cheese Pie Crust' recipe, butter is cubed and then frozen. You can make by hand or with the food processor, I went with the latter.  The recipe is a rough puff pastry with a cream cheese/butter combo (rather than all butter or shortening/butter or lard/butter combination). 

    frozen cubed butter

    It's cream cheese that creates a little magic with this pastry, but more on that later first you need to take your chilled flour, salt and baking powder mixture from the freezer and process it with cream cheese.

    The frozen butter then goes in for a whizz, cream and vinegar are added and the mix is processed until the butter is the size of small peas. 

    Removed from the food processor in it's crumb form and pressed together, wrapped and then chilled.

    Time to roll... the mottled look showing the tiny pieces of cold butter. I rolled mine between two lightly floured pieces of plastic wrap. Envelope folded, rerolled, chilling happening too! 

    Cutting my top pieces with love heart steam hole. 

    There is chilling/resting steps along the way here but I'm on to the elderberry (less) fruit filling now. 

    Yep, it's winter here so it's frozen berries. Blackcurrants and blueberries were left to defrost over a strainer so I could use the juice in the next step. 

    A slurry is made with water and cornflour (I used the juice from defrosted berries and made up the extra with water). 

    Sugar and fruit is added to the pot, I added zest as elderberries would have added more tartness. Looking rather brightly coloured at this stage, but after a brief cooking time to activate cornflour (corn starch) the mixture is thick and dark. If serving pies warm the mixture will thin a little and at room temperature will thicken again. 

    Pie pan was lined with pastry, filled with berry filling, topped with pastry tops and baked. Lol, this is one of those"dang I thought I took photos of that bit" moments. But here is a pie! 

    Inside corner of pie showing the flakiness of the pastry even when rolled paper thin.

    Now back to the "cream cheese pastry magic". Normally once you re-roll puff or rough puff pastry you lose more of your "puff" each time your re-roll  ... however the cream cheese in this pastry is far more forgiving and allows you to re-roll many times and not lose the rise. Example above is fourth roll out of scraps and you are still getting this height after the pastry was "scrunched" and re-rolled. 

    Bread baking next Rose's Alpha Bakers bake.

    Happy Baking :) 

    Would I bake again? Yes and no... pastry yes... this would make a wonderful savoury pie crust. As a fruit pie no, but I do want to try other fruit pies from Rose's books there could be a "game changer" in there. 

    Would I change anything?  No, it tasted fine and I guess that's what a berry pie should taste like, I suppose, not sure ha ha.  

     How it works... now I've joined the fabulous existing alpha bakers, once a month I will post about what I have baked from Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'The Baking Bible'. This won't include the recipe due to copyright and publisher restrictions however, I will be posting how it went and photos of making/baking the gorgeous baked goods.

    The Baking Bible available from Amazon and all discerning book retailers. 

    you might also be interested a fondant pie cupcake ... it has blackbirds :)