Sunday Brunch Pancakes

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Sunday! We woke up later than usual as it’s the school holidays here in NZ. I was holding my medemoiselles off as long as I could so we could have brunch. I made wild yeast pancakes (recipe here) again as it’s super easy in the morning.

I made the pancake batter on Saturday night just before going to bed. Leave it at room temperature overnight. Then next morning, you have fluffy airy batter all ready to cook.

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I made corn and silver beet saute and crispy bacon, green salad to go with it. Of course, we had home made chocolate sauce, cream cheese and some fruits for sweet teeth.  🙂  These pancakes are very fluffy inside but not too light. I highly recommend them to those who make their own yeast!

 

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Green tea and Chocolate Pullman

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I made a loaf with cocoa and macha (green tea) powder. This loaf was so much fun slicing it! Every slice, the pattern was different. My mesdemoiselles were so excited finding shapes in the slices, like with clouds. Not only looks, it tasted yummy! You can taste macha and cocoa flavour. I could add a little bit more sugar perhaps.. maybe in the cocoa and macha paste.

There are a lot of  bread recipes in Japan using green tea powder. I love the colour and the flavour of macha powder. It’s so useful for baking! This time I wanted to try this three coloured pullman which I saw on someone’s blog a long time ago. I adapted a couple of recipes that I found. I had to adapt the quantity as my bread loaf tin is bigger than most of the Japanese recipes I found.

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Green tea and Chocolate Pullman

375g of High Grade/Strong Flour (incl. 2tbsp of Gluten Flour)

5g of Instant Dry Yeast

30g of Sugar

25g of Unsalted Butter

7g of Salt

150g of Water

112g of Milk (one egg york included)

Cocoa paste / 6g of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder+2tsp of water, mix well

Macha paste / 6g of Macha Powder+2tsp of water, mix well

Method

  • Put all the ingredients except butter, cocoa and macha paste. Knead for 15 min then add the butter. Knead again until the dough becomes shiny. (app.5-10 min)
  • Divide the dough into three. Shape it into balls.  Add cocoa paste to 1 of the balls, knead until well combined. Do the same with the macha paste. (2nd picture from the top)
  • Cover all the dough with cling film or a wet tea towel and let it rise in a warm place for about one hour.
  • Roll each ball into a rectangle. (little bit longer than the tin you will use.) Stack all the dough one on top of the other and roll it length ways. (3rd picture from the top)
  • Now your dough should look like a rolling pin. Make sure it’s longer than your baking tin.
  • Cut the dough length-ways twice to make it into 3 strings but leave the top 3 cm. (4th picture from the top)
  • Plat the dough (5th picture from the top) and put it in the tin. Make sure you tuck the top and the end underneath. (5th and 6th picture from the top)
  • Let it rise in a warm place for 45min- 1h until the dough fills 80% of the tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 200℃, 20 min before finishing the final rise.
  • Put the lid on the tin (if you have), bake it in the oven at 190℃ for 30min.

Fig and Walnut Epi

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In France this bread is called “Epi” which is the “ear” of the wheat, because of its shape. Again this is first time I make epi shaped bread. There are so many things I want to try!!

This shape is great for snacks as you can tear bite sizes easily. I saw many recipes with this bread with bacon inside. I didn’t have bacon in the fridge so I made a sweet variation.

I love the combination of fig and walnuts. I always have some in my pantry. I should have made more as it all disappeared so quickly!

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Fig and Walnut Epi

220g of High grade/Strong flour

30g of Whole meal flour

100g of Wild yeast starter (see the recipe here)

5g of Honey

3g of Salt

155g of Lukewarm water

50g of Dry figs (soak in hot water then chop them into small pieces)

40g of Walnuts (Roast then chop them into small pieces)

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients except for the figs and the walnuts in a large bowl and knead for 10 min.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film or a wet tea towel and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume.
  • Divide the dough in four, shape them into balls and let them rest for 20min. (loosely covered with cling film or a wet tea towel.)  [bench rest]
  • Work on one ball at a time, cover the rest. Roll a ball into a long rectangle shape. Place 1/4 of the figs and the walnuts in the centre, roll it into a stick. Do the same for the rest of the balls.
  • Put the 4 sticks on a baking sheet and let them rise in a warm place for 1-2h. (loosely covered with cling film or a wet tea towel.) [final rise]
  • Preheat the oven at 240℃ with a baking tray up side down. Using kitchen scissors, cut diagonally but being careful not to cut all the way through. Position them as on the second picture from the top. (You can find videos on how to shape Epi on Youtube!)
  • Bake them in the oven at 220℃ for 16-18min.

This time, I used fresh walnuts. So we made boats with the shells! Ready for a race in the bath!

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Colourful Focaccia and Fougasse and a bonus sunrise!

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I made focaccia with lots of toppings for lunch. It’s very colourful and cheerful!  My mesdemoiselles shouted “Hooray!” when they came in the kitchen in the morning and found out that was for their school lunch. I love roasted vegetables. It smells so nice when you take them out of the oven. You can use any leftover vegetables from your fridge. This time I used zucchini from our garden, butter cup pumpkin, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, green olives, onions and fresh oregano. Colourful peppers, red onions, mushrooms are also great on this.

I prepared the dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge overnight. The next morning I woke up 1.5h earlier than usual. It was still dark outside! Also I could got to see a beautiful sunrise for the fist time in NZ! (not bad this waking up early thing!)

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This time I used 500g of flour which is a bit too much for a focaccia for 4 people, so I made 2 fougasses using the same dough and baked them together.

Focaccia (1 big focaccia and 2 fougasses)

500g of  High grade/Strong Flour

250g of  Raisin wild yeast starter (recipe here)

10g of  Salt

340g of Lukewarm water

30g of Extra virgin olive oil

For the toppings

Some vegetables (see the picture above, chop them in small pieces)*

Some green or black olives (keep some for the fougasses)

Small handful of fresh oregano (leaves only, chopped)

2 Sausages (slice them in small pieces)

2 tbsp of  genovese sauce (basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil)

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Some olive oil to sprinkle

*Hard vegetables such as pumpkin need to be precooked beforehand. (I steam them)

Method for Focaccia

  • Mix all the dough ingredients except the oil in a large bowl. Knead 5 min. Add olive oil and knead again for another 5 min until the dough becomes glossy and well combined.
  • Put the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume. (I let it rise at room temperature for 1-2h then put it in the fridge overnight)
  • Cut 1/3 of the dough and leave aside for the fougasses. (see below for method)
  • Briefly knead the rest of the dough (2/3) and let it rest for 15 min with a cover. (do not let it dry)
  • Chop up some vegetables and sausages for the topping while resting the dough.
  • Roll the dough on a baking sheet into a flat rectangle of your preferred size. Sprinkle some olive oil and make small holes using your fingers.
  • Cover it loosely with cling film and let it rise in a warm place (app.30℃) for 30min- 1h.
  • Add the topping, gently pressing it down to set it. Sprinkle some genovese sauce and the salt and black pepper.  
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 190℃ for 20min-25min.

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Method for Fougasse

Divide the remaining (1/3) dough in half. Knead briefly to deflate and make 2 balls. Cover them with cling film and let them rest for 15min.

Roll each ball into a flat oval shape and sprinkle sliced olives on one side of each oval. Fold them in half. Roll them gently to make oval shapes once again.

Loosely cover with cling film and let them rise in a warm place (app. 30℃) for 30min – 1h.

Sprinkle some olive oil and oregano on top. Using a butter knife, make some slits in each one, as shown bellow, to make a leaf shape.

Bake them in the oven with the Focaccia. (190℃ for 15min – 20min)

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Cocoa Biscotti with Wild Raisin Yeast

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I made this biscotti with my wild raisin yeast. The recipe is from my favourite Japanese blog called “Bochun Cafe”. As I mentioned her blog before in my previous post ‘Sunday Prune Yeast Pancake’, her baking is amazing! It’s a shame if you don’t read Japanese as she has lots of great recipes on her blog. But just looking at her beautiful photos is very inspiring. So just take a peek at her awesome photos! I can try some of her recipes, adapt them and translate them in English!  (Thank you Anko-san!)

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This recipe also takes no time to prepare it. Same as the yeast pancake, you can prepare the dough a night before in no time then let it rise overnight.Then just some baking to do in the next morning!  (or you can prepare it in the morning and bake it at night!) The textures vary depending on the time you let it rise. Longer you let it rise, you get lighter texture.

Biscotti with Wild Yeast

100g  of High Grade Flour

20g  of Standard Flour

30g  of Almond Meal (ground almond)

(1 heap of tbsp of Cocoa Powder for Cocoa version)

40g  of Sugar (+ a bit more for those who have a sweet tooth like my husband!)

1  Egg

20g  of Wild Yeast Extract (see the recipe here)

Some nuts or/and dry fruits for the fillings. I used pistachio and cranberry this time.

Method

Step 1 : Making the dough

  • Roast nuts in the oven at 150℃ for 10-15min. Soak dry fruits in the warm water for 5-10min if needed, then drain off the water. 
  • Put all the flours (flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, sugar) in a bowl, mix them with a whisk.
  • In a small bowl, mix an egg and the wild yeast extract together.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flours, along with the nuts and dry fruits.
  • Shape the dough into one big flat rectangle.  1.5-2cm thick.
  • Cover the dough loosely with cling film and let it rise at room temperature overnight. (6-8h)

Step 2 : Baking

  • Bake the dough in the preheated oven at 180℃ for 15-16min.
  • Cool the dough and slice it (see the photo above). Put each slice on on a baking sheet, sliced side up, bake them in the oven at 160℃ for 15min. (careful not to burn)
  • Let the biscotti cool in the oven.   

Zebra Bread!

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I made this bread a few months ago, it was my first attempt at making marble bread.  It didn’t turn out to be what I wanted.

It looked quite good as I look back at this photo but it didn’t rise properly in the oven. Also, I had a hard time folding in a chocolate sheet that I made.

I adapted the recipe from one of my cooking books. Maybe that’s the reason it failed….

I haven’t tried it again since, but I definitely will in the future! If it’s more successful, I’ll put the recipe up then.

Baguette training

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French baguette!

I love this bread so much, when we were in France I just loooooved eating baguettes straight after buying from the local bakery. Still warm, crispy crust and aroma of the wheat. Yummm!

I don’t think I would try to bake it myself if we were living in France. I know I could never beat a good bakery there. Though I can get a good baguette here in Wellington, it takes more of an effort to get one. (not nearby) Also I discovered a lot of baking bloggers in Japan baking fantastic looking baguettes at home! So I thought I’d give it a try…

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This is my fifth attempt.  

Finally I’ve got a decent looking baguette!

The first few times, they weren’t really baguettes, more of a long bread. The coupé (the score) didn’t open and the crumb didn’t have big air holes. The taste was alright but my husband just said “it’s yummy, what’s this bread?”. Aaaarrrgg! So I did a fair bit of research, then I found a few tips on how to bake a baguette. I am thinking of making a page on my blog about the basic techniques and tips that I found. So please wait for a moment. (It takes time to write my blog in English! but I have to as it’s a part of my English learning.)

Anyways this is the recipe of a simple baguette made with my wild yeast starter. It’s not easy-peasy. But imagine taking the baguettes out of the oven and listening to the crackling sound that the bread makes, and the smell… It’s worth it!

Baguette [makes 2]

250 g  of  High grade/Strong flour

50 g  of  Raisin wild yeast starter (recipe is here)  [20%]

5 g  of  Salt  [1.8%]

187 g  of  Lukewarm water  [75%]

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl except salt, mix with a card or a fork until just combined. Cover with cling film(*) and let it rest for 15 min.
  2. Add salt and knead the dough on the work surface for 5 min. Then put it back in the bowl and cover with cling film. (the dough should be quite sticky. It’s easy to use a card to handle the dough)
  3. Let it rest in a warm place for 30 min. 
  4. Using a rubber spatula fold the dough in half 8 times, each time changing the angle. (Punch)
  5. Repeat step 4 twice (rest 30 min in between)
  6. Let it rise until the dough doubles in volume. (I put the dough in the fridge overnight. 8h)
  7. Halve the dough on a dusted work surface. Fold in half and cover with a wet tea towel and let it rest for 20min.  (Bench time)
  8. Shape the dough gently into a baguette shape. ( I will make a page for some tips!)
  9. Let it rise in a warm place until it becomes bit bigger. (1-2h)  * Do not let it dry!)
  10. Preheat the oven at 300 ℃, 20 min before finishing a final rise
  11. Score a few lines diagonal. (Coupé)
  12. Spray a fine mist of water on the dough.
  13. Put the dough in the oven and turn the oven off for 5 min, then turn it  back on at 190℃. Bake it for another 15 min.

ENJOY!

 

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