All posts filed under: bread

Cinnamon and Maple Doughnuts

These started out as something quite different. I was aiming for a pumpkin doughnut, filled with a pumpkin pie type filling. I made a pumpkin dough, and made the doughnuts. I made a creamy pumpkin pie filling. I fried the doughnuts and filled them, but it just didn’t seem quite right. So then I decided to make them small, unfilled doughnuts. And I moved away from the pumpkin in the dough (I didn’t feel it was adding anything in the way of flavour it texture) and stuck to the spices. These weren’t flavourful either. I tried adding maple syrup to the dough and simplifying the flavour from pumpkin pie spice mix to just cinnamon. I kept the maple syrup glaze and chopped pecans but added cinnamon sugar. Bingo! Sweet Dough 200g of Milk, scalded then cooled 50g of Maple Syrup 15g of yeast 500g of Bread Flour 60g of Butter, softened 40g of Caster Sugar 10g of Salt 2 Large Eggs 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon   Cinnamon Sugar 3 Tablespoons of Caster Sugar 1 Teaspoon …

Maple, Apple and Pecan Danish Pasties

These Danish Pastries were inspired by being handed a bag of the cutest little apples from a friend’s garden a week before another friend and her family were due to visit. I thought they would make the perfect addition to a breakfast pastry and I could take the opportunity to use Moose Maple Butter again to make the most delicious glaze. The day before I wanted to make the pastries I made a Crème Pâtissière and stored it in the fridge. And that evening, I made a batch of Danish Pastry dough. I used Paul Hollywood’s recipe, leaving it to chill and prove overnight in the fridge. In the morning I rolled out the dough to approximately 45cmX28cm then trimmed the edges with a pizza wheel. I then divided it into rough 8cm squares. I don’t think the pastries would work any bigger than this; as it was, they were rather substantial at that size. I decided to form this into a fairly simple Danish Pastry shape that would allow for a bigger area for the Crème Pâtissière …

Blueberry and Orange Breakfast Bread

I have been desperately trying to find the time to make this recipe for a few months now. I had the idea after my son saw a similar tear and share bread in a book, but I wanted to come up with my own recipe using Gilchester’s Organic Unbleached Flour. But we have been busy with school holidays and the important business of getting to know our new puppy, Florence. The first time I attempted it, I made far to much, and the rolled up dough didn’t come close to fitting in a 10″ tin. So, I reduced the quantities and tweaked the ratios and came up with this. I really hope you like it. Ingredients 250g of Bread Flour 125g of Milk  1/2 Teaspoon of Orange Blossom 8g of Dried Instant Yeast (by all means use fresh if you have it but I know many people can’t get hold of it easily) 30g of Caster Sugar 25g of Softened Butter 5g of Salt 1 Large Egg, beaten. Plus an beaten extra egg to glaze the dough. For …

Hossbuns

Before my daughter could say Hot Cross Buns, she would call them Hossbuns. For me, the nickname of these spiced and very slightly sweet buns has stuck. The first time I tried to make them a few years ago I struggled to incorporate all of the dried fruit in to what was quite a stiff dough. Last year I started to experiment with my own recipe, and this year, I have finally settled on one, influenced slightly by the Scandinavian flavours found in the Swedish Semlor that I made recently. The process may seem rather long and laborious, especially when there are Hot Cross Bun recipes out there that only involve one prove before shaping, and one after, before firing them into the oven. However, I have been trying to understand the chemical process of bread making a little bit more, reading my trusty Hamelman, and bending the ears of those who know far more than I do. Sometimes it pays to do take your time. I have been using Gilchesters Unbleached Flour again. This flour …

Bread makes the world go round.

I don’t know where I found first read about Semlor but I am pretty sure it was early last year. These Swedish sweet buns are a seasonal treat originally designed to be eaten at the start of Lent (like pancakes are on Shrove Tuesday in the UK) as a last indulgence before Lenten abstinence. However, I believe at some point Lenten abstinence was discouraged as religious practices shifted, and they are now enjoyed in the period between New Year and Easter these days, much like the Hot Cross Bun. And, like the Hot Cross Bun, people in Sweden bemoan how early the Semla arrives in their bakeries each year, as we in the UK grumble at the sight of Hot Cross Buns and Easter themed chocolate goodies in our supermarkets on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas day). I started to think about bread and how integral it is to so many cultures and their feasts and festivities. Bread is about sharing. Bread can be about celebration. Bread can also be about survival. It is …

So, am I a baker now?

I don’t know how many times I have tried to write a blog post about bread. Not a specific bread that I have experimented with, like this week’s Pretzels or last year’s Brioche Feuilletée, but one simply about my journey of discovery baking bread. I know that sounds a bit New Age but it *has* been quite a journey of discovery and an igniting of passion. Over the years I baked the odd white loaf and a few Irish Soda Breads, but I didn’t really think about what I was doing. Then, about three or four years ago, I started to experiment, using a well know celebrity baker’s recipes. All was good, and I started to get more adventurous, baking laminated doughs for family breakfasts; savoury, flavoured bread recipes to accompany dinner; and differently shaped and plaited breads. But I knew I was missing something. I knew I was missing a technical knowledge and understanding of what I was actually doing and why certain things worked and others didn’t. My baking friend, Lisa, had been on …

#instafriends

I have just sent a private message to a Dentist from New Jersey, telling her (what feels like) half of my life story and almost all of my baking story (as briefly as possible). This was in response to her doing something similar. I have never met this dentist before. In fact, before yesterday, I didn’t even know what she looked like or her real name. Up until yesterday I only knew her as bread @ventures_nj but I knew that she loved to bake and made the most exquisite pasta. Of course, I knew her from Instagram. She and I have followed each other for a while now, and exchanged questions and answers about our respective bakes. Like me, she is a very keen amateur, who squeezes in her “extreme hobby”, as she calls it, around her professional life. We have become friends, #instafriends if you will. We just took our relationship to the next level: we started sending private messages to each other ! 😉 But she is not the only online friend that …

…and then you add some more butter.

  Do you like Brioche? Do you like its buttery, rich yet light, texture in your mouth? Is it possible to improve upon Brioche? Yes, it is! And the answer is to add more butter. It doesn’t seem possible. What is more, it seems unlikely that by adding even more butter to this already rich *and* enriched dough you can make it lighter. The trick is doing it in layers, or laminating. Brioche Feuilletée is made using the same method as croissant or Danish pastry dough, or puff pastry: the dough is rolled out, folded, then chilled several times, until many layers, sheets, leaves or feuilles of alternating thin dough and butter are created. I made Brioche Feuilletée last weekend for the first time and I decided to document the process in several photographs that I would like to share with you now. Having used Michel Roux’s Brioche recipe before, and been very happy with the results, I decided to start there. This recipe makes 1.2kg (actually more than I needed) and I made it the …

Frances Auty: Self-Confessed Baking Addict

Originally posted on It's all about the cake:
Meet Frances Auty: no ordinary home baker… Picture the scene: you’re seven years old, you’re tucked up in bed with chicken pox and you’re listening to the soothing tones of Felicity Kendall on tape as she reads ‘The Bonfire Pudding,’ one of Dorothy Edwards’ ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ stories. It’s about a little girl so scared of fireworks that she stays home to make Christmas pudding with her Gran. As you listen you imagine the warmth in the kitchen and the smell of the lemon and orange and spices being patiently mixed together. Such is your enjoyment of this well loved, comforting story that you listen to time and again that it sparks in you the beginnings of a love affair with all things cake. For Frances, who has been making her own Christmas puddings for twenty years now, bonfire night will forever be synonymous with that time in the year when preparations for the festive season begin and her home is filled with the delicious scents…

Hello world!

Well, I have finally done it! Welcome to my sparkly new blog and my first blog post. I confess to being a little nervous. I am used to firing up posts on my Facebook page about my latest bakes and feel this should be far more considered. But I don’t want to change who I am and hope to be the same old Frances here as I am on FB, Twitter and Instagram. I hope you enjoy my bakes and words. Frances 🙂