Baking for a Sunny Day

stilton and bacon bread 2

At last! We have blue sky and bright warm sun. I’m able to wander around the garden in my bare feet and wearing a dress without thick wooly tights (first time this year!). So today is another session of gardening and the weed infested pots of my earlier post are now filled with begonias. This was followed by a “productive” session of lying on the back lawn watching swallows circling far overhead and drinking Bellini. Bliss!

But I have been baking as well. LSH has made a special request for his favourite bread – Stilton and bacon. I used to make this using the olive dough recipe from Richard Bertinet’s Dough but give the success of my recent “easy white bread” this is the recipe I’ve used for the basic dough. However I have reduced the salt a little as there’s plenty in the filling.

I grilled 5 rashers of unsmoked back bacon and left to cool. I then broke it into quarters cutting off any remaining fat (I have to have fat crispy on bacon). Once the bread has had its first rise I patted it out into a rectangle and cover with bacon. Then I crumbled about 150g of Stilton over the top.

Bacon Stilton bread

I rolled it up and made sure that it was sealed at the bottom. It was left to prove on baking paper for about 45mins. The final bread was then baked at 200c for 35min. I’ve also used the same method for sun blush tomatoes with mozzarella and pesto which was delicious! I think that caramelised onions might be worth a go as well. Let me know what ideas you have.

Stilton and bacon bread

As the weather was so nice we had this bread for lunch sat outside on the patio. LSH made very short work of it after a busy morning weeding but at least I got to eat my share of it this time (I’ve learnt my lesson on never leaving him alone with freshly cooled bread….).

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Burger Buns and Bacon Sarnies

Floury baps

I fear that my blog is starting to sound like a one woman fan page devoted to Dan Lepard. Today was a special day in themondaybaker household as LSH is celebrating a “big” birthday with a “big” party. So I’ve been busy all morning with party prep as well as making some buns for pre-party burgers and morning-after bacon sarnies.

The first recipe I looked at were the soft slider buns which looked good but needed custard powder so they were out ( I didn’t think my carton of low fat custard was going to be able replace this somehow….) So that left me with the soft floury baps which could be made with everything I had in my cupboards. I just needed to work the timings around my various errands that I needed to run.

Sponge  - before

First the sponge. This needed a sachet of easy blend yeast. I don’t use sachets and I’ve previously used a teaspoon of easy blend yeast instead. But then I saw that a sachet supposedly equals 2 1/2 tsp of yeast! So this time round I weighed it and it was significantly more than I thought. So I mixed the sponge ingredients and left it. The recipe says to leave it for 2 1/2 – 3 hours so I headed off to collect the cake.

By the time I made it back it had been left for 2 hours and looked like this! Definitely somewhat lively….

Sponge -

Then I added the rest of the flour and the water, milk and butter mix. The resting time ended up being curtailed as I needed to go and get balloons and other things. But it still left a bit of a problem as I didn’t think I’d be able to get everything and get back in the hours proving time. A plan B was needed – LSH was going to have to bake them without supervision….

Dough - pre shaping

So I carefully shaped them into buns and sprinkled over the flour ready for proving.

Floury baps - pre proving

I set the timer for an hour and wrote down the instructions (Turn oven on to 200C after 30 mins. When timer goes off put buns in oven. Bake for 20 min remembering to turn them mid way through cooking). I then kept sending “helpful” texts (“are buns in oven?”, “have you turned them?”, “have you taken buns out of oven?” It was a bit like baking by phone – if only there was an app). And these were the result.

Floury baps

Very squidgy and really soft. Ideal for burgers and bacon. I now have a stash in the freezer and I doubt that they’ll be in there long.

Floury bap - crumb

So here is the pre-party burger version: burger

And the morning after one….

Bacon sarnie 2

Cheese and Bacon

For Christmas I was given a copy of Andrew Whitley’s Bread Matters book by my Long Suffering Husband. Whilst I’ve read through a lot of it, its taken me a while to get round to baking anything.

 The first bread that I tried was his Cheese Bread but being impatient I couldn’t wait by making the sponge so I used my rye starter instead. Whilst the flavour was good the texture wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I reduced the amount of starter and increased the white flour, adding a small amount of yeast to compensate. I also had some bacon to use up so I kneaded that in with the cheese. And wow! Just what I was looking for- all the taste but with a lighter texture. Even LSH was impressed!

You can find the recipe here

Bacon and Cheese Bread

Bacon and Cheese Bread