Tag Archives: baking

The Artisan Bakehouse

On Saturday, myself and a group of friends visited The Artisan Bakehouse located between Steyning and Ashurst in West Sussex for a bread making workshop.  The Artisan Bakehouse is owned and run by Les and Louise, a lovely couple who were very welcoming with plenty of tea, coffee and delicious home made biscuits,  a great start to what turned out to be a brilliant day.

The Artisan Bakehouse is set in 5 acres of secluded gardens and woodland, a really beautiful setting, peaceful and calm.   There are also two 16th century holiday cottages available to let all year round for a perfect country break.

The Bakehouse itself houses a custom-made wood fired traditional bakers oven, that uses nothing more than fire wood, to create the perfect bake.  

First up on the bread making list was Foccacia laden with garlic, rosemary and black olives.   We then tackled a small baguette, M&S watch out, ours were pretty good!  Next was a Tear and Share Crown Bread to which we added sundried tomatoes and more black olives.  The same dough again then produced a Seeded loaf with my favourite combination of seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, golden and brown flaxseeds and sesame seeds, a nutritionally power packed bread!  We didn’t get time for the Soda Bread, but as I’ve made it many times it was no matter and we all got a chance for a chat over tea and lunch so the day was not rushed and extremely enjoyable.

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Bakes2 Collage 

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The Artisan Bakehouse also hold a range of other workshops, including children’s baking and pizza making parties.  I will definitely be taking Miss ND next year (she’s a touch young at 3) I would love a mummy and me type afternoon of baking and sampling our bakes.

Lunch Tea Collage 

A break for lunch with home-made bacon quiche with plenty of salads and coleslaw plus a good selection of drinks and a lovely surprise was afternoon tea with a gorgeous selection of home-made cakes, whilst we waited for our final breads to bake, I couldn’t manage much by that point but Louise very kindly let me take home a brownie and meringue for Mr ND who was looking after Miss ND for the day.  They were very well received!

I can highly recommend The Artisan Bakehouse, warm and friendly, beautiful surroundings and superb tuition, I feel way more confident about baking a wider selection of breads now with all the tips Les passed on to us.

 A lot of kneading later and 32 breads made between us, 8 exhausted but happy ladies went away laden with bread and windfall damsons, see what I made with them here!  

 

 

Blackberry and Toasted Hazelnut Muffins

The garden has produced a bumper crop of apples this year, the cherries didn’t do so well and what little we had the birds got.  The blackberries have been so abundant in our garden that I’ve picked several bucketloads already and still they are coming!  We’ve made the usual Apple & Blackberry Pies and used a quite a few in our breakfasts and I can’t resist popping a few every time I pass the kitchen (allegedly they have super skin-tightening properties so hopefully no need for that facelift!) but I needed to use more and quite fast too as once picked they only last a couple of days in the fridge.

These Blackberry and Toasted Hazelnut Muffins from Tesco Real Food use 200g of blackberries and includes a fair amount of yoghurt  (we use Total Greek Yoghurt, it’s thick and stays on the spoon, vital when the toddler is aiming for her mouth and of course she loves it!)  in the recipe for a lovely moist, fruity muffin.  You can find their recipe here.

Blackberrymuffins Collage

I made a couple of adjustments to suit us, I used self-raising wholemeal flour instead of plain wholemeal flour and less baking powder to compensate.  Also swapped out 50g of the wholemeal flour for self-raising white flour, these muffins will be eaten by a toddler and the addition of a little white flour makes the muffins lighter.   And of course, no surprise I took the sugar down to 80g from 100g.

I shall be making another batch, it’s a great recipe, the softness of the fruit with a satisfying little crunch from the toasted hazelnuts.  Next time I will add more blackberries to the top, after all I have plenty!  

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Walnut and Gruyère Loaf

I’m a great fan of the Great British Bake Off and this week was Bread week.  I love cheese in breads so thought I’d give a Walnut and Gruyère Loaf a go, I’ve made a few loaves in my time but my favourite so far is Soda Bread, because it is so easy to knock up a loaf if we run out of bread!  I am going on a bread making workshop next month at The Artisan Bakehouse which I am greatly looking forward to, hope my hands can take a day of kneading.

I used my KitchenAid to mix the dough up, very quick and a very good job it did too!

walnutgruyerebreadND

 Prep Time:  about 3 hours with all the proving!
Cook Time:  30 minutes

Makes:  1 standard loaf size

Lightly brush Olive oil on the inside of your preferred tin.

 

Fill a roasting tin with water and pop in the bottom of your oven (to create steam in the oven when baking the bread).

Ingredients

350g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
7g fast action dried yeast
25g unsalted butter, softened
225 ml tepid water
Olive oil for greasing tin and kneading
80g Walnuts, roughly chopped
100g Gruyère cheese, grated

– Put the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl, add the butter and tepid water and start to mix until the ingredients are all combined and the dough is soft.  You may need a little more water, 225 ml seemed fine to me for this amount of flour.

 – Add the chopped walnuts and the grated Gruyère cheese and mix for another minute or two until combined.

– Tip the dough onto an oiled surface and give it a knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough has a nice soft, smooth skin.

 

walnutgruyereND Collage

I left the dough to prove for an hour in an oiled bowl covered with cling film  to allow it to double in size, then I gave it a good knead knocking the air out, then popped the dough into a lightly oiled tin (I wanted a round loaf) and covered with a plastic bag then proved for another hour.  The dough doubled in size again, then I dusted the top of the loaf with flour and put two cuts in the dough.

It was then baked in a very hot oven, 200ºC in my fan oven for 30 minutes.

I’m not sure what Paul Hollywood would make of this bread but it was enjoyed by the whole family and was especially delicious with the Apple and Blackberry Jam I made earlier this week.  I’ll definitely make this one again, maybe with more cheese and wholemeal and white flour combined next time.

walnutgruyerejamND

I’m linking this post up with Tea-Time Treats with Karen from Lavender and Lovage hosted by Katie from What Kate Baked for October theme which is BREAD.

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French Apple Tart

When we viewed the house we currently live in we were both working long hours and our viewing all took place in the evenings.  We were house hunting in the winter months and only looked at the back garden in the dark.   When we finally saw the back garden we were pleasantly surprised to see 3 apple trees to go with the one beauty in the front garden.  For years now they have been very prolific (except last year, see my post here on the weather saga)  and we have found ourselves (Mr ND loves to bake too!) baking like crazy from the end of August until the Autumn and stuffing the freezer with as many apple goodies as we could fit in.

frenchappletartnd

I’ve started picking this year’s crop and giving some away to friends and family but the rest I’m cooking and baking with myself starting with this very simple French Apple Tart.  There are two ways of doing this, with or without the apple purée, today it’s with.   

I’m using ready rolled puff pastry, I have made puff pastry before but probably never will again as the store bought is so good and so convenient.   Once the apples have been sliced for the top of the pastry, pop in some lemon juice to stop them going brown.

frenchappletartNDCollage

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Servings: 12

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C,/160 C fan/Gas 4

Ingredients

2-3 medium Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped – for the purée
Ready rolled puff pastry- cut a piece to fit your baking tray
1 free-range (I use organic) egg yolk, beaten

2 medium Bramley apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
50-75g butter, melted
3-4 tablespoons caster sugar

Method

 –  Add a couple of tablespoons of water to a pan with the chopped apples, cover and place over a medium heat and simmer for a few minutes until apples have broken down and are soft.  Beat lightly so they are apples are smooth.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

–   Roll out the puff pastry onto a baking sheet, it’s best taken out of the fridge a few minutes before baking, and lightly score an inner margin inside the edge of the puff pastry, the edge should then puff up nicely.  I usually prick the pastry too to stop the middle puffing up.  Brush the pastry with the beaten egg yolk.  Wait a minute or two then repeat.

–  Spread the apple purée all over the pastry leaving out the outer margin.  Layer the apple slices over the apple purée.  

–  Brush the apple slices with the melted butter and sprinkle with caster sugar.

–  Bake for 25 -30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are soft and lightly golden brown.

–  Dust with icing sugar (optional) and slice into 12 portions. 

I shall be making these a lot as they are so delicious but as I have so many apples (have I mentioned that I have 4 apple trees!!) I will double up on the apples on top as they do shrink once baked and also make into individual round apple tarts, lots more to try!

 Nutritional Info:

Vitamins A & C, plus iron and calcium

Apples are a good source of pectin which is high in fibre.

Apples should store well for months if unblemished and placed in a cool, dry place.   They should be wrapped in  newspaper and then placed in a single layer in a cardboard box.  

It’s not often I can get tree-ripened, truly organic, fresh from the tree produce to cook with, it doesn’t get better than that!

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Apple and Sour Cream Flan Cake

appleflancake1Apple and Sour Cream flan cake

Last year our apple trees produced no fruit, a first for them since we have lived here, the beautiful, delicate pink blossoms were rained on so hard that they didn’t get pollinated so no apples.  We have 4 trees, 3 Bramley’s and 1, as yet, unidentified eating apple tree.  We cook, bake, freeze and finally give loads to the neighbours.   This year all is well again,  I have been on blossom, rain, wind, weather watch and although we had a lot of rain this year, we have a healthy crop.  

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This Apple and Sour Cream Flan Cake was inspired by an old Woman & Home recipe that I have tucked away and is a firm family favourite.   I have lowered the sugar content again but feel free to use more if your tooth is sweeter than ours.

 Pre heat your oven to 180C, 160C Fan, gas mark 4

Bottom line and butter a 23cm (9″) round cake tin, I use a springform, so easy to use.

My Ingredients
3 medium sized cooking apples, peeled and cored
125g butter,softened plus a little extra to brush top of apples
90g golden caster sugar
2 organic free-range eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
100g sour cream
1 tblspn apricot jam for glazing

Method
Beat the butter and the golden caster sugar together until pale and creamy, add the eggs one at a time and beat in. Stir in the vanilla extract, then the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and the sour cream until smooth.

Chop one of the apples into small bite sized chunks and finely slice the others, you may not need all the slices.  Add the chopped apples to the cake batter, then spread the mixture into the prepared baking tin. Make smooth and even then arrange the apple slices to top. Melt a little butter and brush over the top of the cake and apples.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake has risen and is golden. It should be firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack, then glaze the top with the warm apricot jam. Serve with creme fraiche or a dollop of double cream, this cake is so lovely and moist it doesn’t need anything but it’s summer and a blob of something creamy is so de rigeur!  Enjoy!

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Blueberry and Lemon Friands

 

Blueberry and Lemon Friands.  I made ice-cream the other day, the traditional way with double cream, milk and egg yolks.   And with 3 egg whites languishing in the fridge I thought I would make some Blueberry and Lemon Friands to use them up.  I have a growing list of recipes that use either only egg yolks or only egg whites  so that I can marry up recipes without wasting one or the other.  I do  have a very old recipe that uses 6 egg whites but as I only had 3  (& didn’t want to just halve the other recipe) I decided to make these from the BBC Good Food website where you can find the recipe.  I did reduce the icing sugar from 125g to 100g, I feel most recipes use too much sugar so always tweak it!

 friands top watermarked ND

Ingredients

friandingredients

So, what is a Friand exactly?  They originated in France and are popular in Australia (where my original recipe comes from).  They are small, light as a feather, bite-sized cakes that are made with egg whites and ground almonds which are high in protein.  You can use whatever fruit you please, but the smaller, softer fruits like Blueberry and Raspberry are the most suitable for these cakes.  The fruit is just pressed into the batter before baking.  You know I’m not keen on sugary cakes especially for tiny teeth but these are mini morsels of delight and ideal for a little one’s lunchbox or a tea-time treat.   The batter makes around 18 Friands so plenty to go around, they can also be frozen.

friandmethodCollage

Usually you would bake Friands in a Friand Tin to give them their signature oval shape, I am using a mini muffin tin which is the nearest I could get to it.  I have searched high and low for a Friand Tin without success.  If any of my readers know where to get one in the UK or even further afield, do let me know!

friandCollage

 

 

 friands waternarkedND

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