Bibliocook - All About Food Blog

15

Your daily bread: Sourdough from starter

sourdough loaves

After our Doodle Bread adventures last weekend, I went on a bit of a bread making buzz. Normally we make our bread in the machine – it’s quick, efficient, makes great bread and, secondhand, it only cost me €10 – but I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the kneading side of things so it was time to dig out my Ballymaloe sourdough starter.

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Your daily (Doodle) bread

 Little Missy with her Doodle Bread

This baking event was a long time in the planning. Little Missy and I had been sent a Doodle Bread kit to try out before Christmas and, after watching the super-speedy how to video online, we were dying to try it out. The cold weather, however, combined with a non-centrally heated cottage meant ridiculously slow bread rising times. This is why we normally use the bread machine. But, with the recent arrival of warmer days, we decided to get stuck in.

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Final countdown: Cranberry, Orange and Port Relish

href=”http://www.bibliocook.com/2010/12/christmas-bakin.html”>baking is done, there are jars of homemade mustard sitting on the counter alongside Lemon and Passionfruit Curd and the second turkey is almost ready to go. We’re due to leave the cottage tomorrow, abandoning our iced up windows – it’s just not melting these days, and that’s inside – for a few days of central heating and living with the family at my parents’ place.

1

Cookbooks at Christmas

Food for Friends and Family by Sarah Raven

Some might say that it is too late for Christmas shopping but, as the Little Brother informed me this morning, there’s loads of time yet. Which would be fine if he wasn’t supposed to be buying for me – my family does Kris Kringle so that you only have to buy for one person – and most of the things I want are online. My fault for not telling him in time, apparently! Oh well…if there are any similarly challenged little brothers out there, they might find this list useful. Here are, in no particular order, a selection of review books that I’ve enjoyed this year. You can also find a few more in the Cooking the Books index.

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Christmas baking: Mincemeat and Polenta Shortbread

Christmas Mince and Polenta Shortbread

Although I made mince pies for the Christmas Cookalong, that was the night I realised why I don’t normally make them. As I fiddled with the pastry and Little Missy stuck her hands, once again, under my rolling pin – difficult to avoid when she’s standing on her wee stool directly in front of me so she can “help” with the stars – I kept thinking that there have to be easier ways to make things with Christmas mincemeat.