I’ve been wondering for ages what I’d choose for this week’s Cakes & Bakes recipe. You see, it’s Sourdough September and I wanted to make something more than a just a plain sourdough loaf. I’ve come up with a mushroom pasty recipe using sourdough pastry.
I only feed my sourdough starter in the summer months – our old, stone house just isn’t conducive to developing the warmth-loving wild yeasts for much of the year. When the temperature drops and the wood-burning stove needs to be sparked up, I store a small batch of starter in the freezer to revive again the following year.
This sourdough pastry recipe is very similar to plain shortcrust pastry but the taste is so much better – and it’s more buttery and flakier too.
I’m sure some Cornish people and other pasty aficionados will be up in arms with my mushroom pasty recipe. However, I’m vegetarian and a meat pasty isn’t tempting. I used Rustica mushrooms. However, you can use any kind – button, woodland, chestnut, wild… add a handful of garden peas if it takes your fancy. I used Maris Piper potatoes, but as with the mushrooms, it’s down to personal preference or what’s to hand. Also, a bit of onion, garlic and fresh thyme.
We have some 20cm/8-inch starter plates that are the perfect diameter for a pasty pastry cutter. Just roll out the pastry, place a plate on the top and cut around it with the tip of a sharp, pointy knife.
I picked up a(nother!) tip from Nadiya Hussain for making pasties. Use the tip of the self-same knife – this time, the un-sharp side of the blade – to just gently push the pastry inwards at 1cm intervals to crimp.
The recipe made 6 pasties; I cooked off half of them for immediate consumption – and put the other three into the freezer for a later date. They were truly delicious. Justin and I agree that this pastry is one of the best – if not THE best I’ve ever made – and the simple combination of flavours in the filling worked brilliantly too.
- 185g/6½oz plain flour
- 1tsp salt
- 225g/8oz very cold butter, cubed
- 225g/8oz cold sourdough starter
- a little beaten egg to glaze
- 250g/9oz potatoes, cubed
- 30g/1oz butter
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 250g/9oz mushrooms, sliced
- sprig of thyme
- salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Sieve the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor
- Scatter the cold, cubed butter over the top of the flour mixture and pulse a few times until the butter breaks up into small chunks
- Spread the sourdough starter over the top of the flour/butter mixture
- Pulse again until the mixture just starts to clump together a bit, but is still crumbly. The dough should feel like it will stay together if you pinch it with your fingers
- Lay out two strips of cling film at right angles to each other and empty the pastry mixture into the middle
- Bring the mixture together using the lengths of cling until it just about comes together into a ball. Quickly flatten the ball into a round, wrap and chill for an hour in the fridge
- In a medium-sized saucepan, just cover the potatoes with cold, salted water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes
- Using a colander, strain the water away
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat
- Add the onions and garlic and sweat until they're soft but not browned
- Add the mushrooms, thyme and salt & pepper and continue to sweat until the mushrooms have softened
- Strain any liquid away (or you can reserve this to make a mushroom sauce using a dash of cream)
- Mix the potatoes into the mushrooms until well combined
- Set the mixture aside to cool
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
- Divide the pastry into 6 equal pieces. Put five back into the fridge to keep cool while you make the first pasty
- Form the pastry piece into a round and roll out on a floured work surface
- Place a side plate on to the pastry and cut out a circle
- Spoon some of the cooled mushroom filling into the centre of the pastry
- Brush around the edge of the circle with water, carefully fold the pastry over into a semi-circle - keeping the filling away from the edge
- Gently press the edges of pastry together before crimping
- Repeat this process until you have used all the pastry and filling
- Put the pasties on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with a little beaten egg
- Bake for 30 minutes until the tops are golden brown
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before eating
A few weeks ago on Instagram, I was singing the praises of a delicious porcini mushroom pâté that I’d discovered in Lidl. We had a punnet of mushrooms that needed to be used up so I thought I might try my hand at making my own pâté.
I flipped through a few of our cookbooks for a recipe and soon found one in a little booklet supplement that came with the Guardian weekend newspaper, many moons ago. It was a taster from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Mushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1.
I altered the recipe slightly, substituting the butter and garlic for 50 grams of wild garlic butter that I whipped up the previous week. A very simple and easy to make recipe. You can use foraged wild mushrooms (so long as you’re absolutely sure they’re not a poisonous variety); dried mushrooms such as porcini, chanterelle, morel or a mixture; chestnut or just plain ol’ closed cup white mushrooms.
It’s getting to that time of year when wild mushrooms start to appear. A lovely free meal if you know what you’re picking!
Exotic mushrooms taste delicious in all kinds of pasta & rice dishes – or thrown into a simple omelette. Foraging isn’t possible for everyone though – so here are five kits that offer a convenient & safe option.
It’s been a long time since our last Out & about post – we even missed the whole of summer!
Flower-filled fields feel a distant memory…
…the flowers gave way to autumn leaves…
For the first couple of weeks of autumn we had the best of both worlds – sunshine as well as amazing seasonal colour.
We were seeing butterflies until quite late in the year…
…but there was no doubting that summer was over, as the winter-visiting geese were beginning to arrive.
Even the autumn sunshine is now a thing of the past – it seems to have been raining non-stop for almost a month. But now we’re into December, this rain will hopefully turn to snow which will mean a magical white Christmas!
Each day starts with a long walk with the dog. It’s normally a case of put the boots on, grab the lead and go. Our camera is quite cumbersome so it doesn’t get out much. However, last month we decided that we were going to make the effort to take it with us more often on these daily walks.
We’re going to start sharing with you some of the photos that we take when we’re out & about – things that we find beautiful, striking, interesting or fleeting – posting a collection of our favourites each month. This first batch were all taken in & around Todmorden this October.
October heralds the start of autumn with its stunning foliage, fruit, berries & fungi.
We stumbled across this beautiful orange mushroom beside a stream. It must have sprung up overnight – it was so pristine.
We didn’t have to walk far to get this image. These cute, little white-capped mushrooms were growing in a cluster on an old tree stump at the end of our garden.
These amethyst deceivers are plentiful in the local beech woods…
…we picked a few – they’re great in an omelette or salad.
Tempting berries – some edible, some not…
…these juicy elderberries most definitely are – and will soon be turned into jam & jelly.
Todmorden lies in a tree-lined valley, so we get a glorious leaf display around this time of year.
Will one of these grow into a giant oak tree?
After a wet summer, we’ve had much better weather this month. We captured this bee making the most of some lovely autumn sunshine.
This patch of orange crocosmia was growing wild. It looks stunning against the bright blue sky…
…as does this lone, windswept hawthorn tree.
These lovely stone walls criss-cross the fields & hills of the Pennines.
Other fields are divided by wooden fences – they can produce wonderful shadows.
The farms of the area concentrate on hardy livestock – beef & dairy cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens.
October hasn’t all been sunshine. These photos of electricity pylons and a local wind farm were taken under more threatening skies.
And not forgetting a photo of our regular walking companion taking in a view.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this first Out & about post – it’ll be back with more photos next month!