Friday, 6 July 2012

House to myself and so much to do

Well I have the day off today and the house all to myself (Matt's at work) and I have so much planned I am not sure I'm going to get through it all, as it's nearly midday already!

I have delivered the 3 month old Sussex rooster to his new home. I can safely say he will be well loved there with lots of animal friends and 3 little girls to dote on him.

I am in the process of blanching green tomatoes- this glut was taken from one of the recovering sections of the pig pen, before we removed the electric fencing. None of these were planted, just germinated through thier evidently fertile manure! I didn't want them to spoil or get dimolished so I picked them even thoguh thier green. So am planning to make a green tomato and zucchini (courgette- from my garden) chutney. I made this last year and it was delicious- so much so that I had totally forgotten how fiddley cherry and grape tomatoes were to skin! I'll post the recipe with my progress later. 

I have also made a start on my sourdough. I removed the starter from the fridge last night and added water and flour to activate it. This morning I have mixed the sponge- 500g strong bakers flour, 600ml of water with a ladle of the starter, this has to left for a few hours. The book says to do this the night before; only I read it this morning. So if I leave for the rest of the day, I shall attempt the rest this evening.

On the baking theme I thought I'd share the recipe for Hot cross buns that Matt made last night, seasonal I know. Though we left the crosses off.
They were delicious and I enjoyed on this morning for breakfast so well worth the effort.

Makes 8
250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
250g plain flour
125ml warm water
125ml milk
5g dried yeast
10g salt
50g caster sugar
1 medium egg
100g dried fruit
zest 1/2 orange
1 tsp ground mixed spice

If you were to do this by hand you need to- mix the flours, water, milk, yeast, salt and sugar. Then add egg and butter and mix to sticky dough. Then add dried fruit, zest and spice. Knead untl silky smooth. Cover dough and leave to rise in warm place for an hour.

We used the dough setting on the bread maker for this first stage, so just placed all the ingredients in and let it run.
 Then knock back the risen dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape these into rounds and dust with flour. Place on a floured board, cover with plastic or linen and leave to prove for half an hour- should have roughly doubled in size.

Pre-heat oven 200 degrees, tranfer to lined baking tray and bake for 15- 20 minutes.

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