Cakes & Bakes: 24-hour sourdough loaf

Home-made 24-hour sourdough loaf | H is for Home #baking #sourdough #sourdoughbread #realbread #recipe

Someone over on our Instagram feed asked when I was going to share the recipe for the 24-hour sourdough loaf that I’d photographed. I forgot that I’d never actually blogged about it, so here it is!

Bubbling sourdough starter | H is for Home

It’s my new favourite sourdough bread recipe because it helps me plan my baking time to a tee. No more hanging around at bedtime for my bread to be ready to take out of the oven. You start at “zero hour” with a refresh of the starter and end with taking it out of the oven.

La Cloche baking dome | H is for Home

The 24 hour duration is a fairly loose timing. You can stretch or shorten the time line to suit by warming or cooling the environment of the starter and the rising dough. I like to time it so that my final prove takes place overnight. The recipe suggests refrigerating the dough for this 8-12 hour stage however, our downstairs cloakroom gets really cold at night – and the banneton takes up a lot of space – so I do the rise in there.

Sliced, home-made 24-hour sourdough loaf | H is for Home

It means I can get up in the morning, pre-heat the oven and La Cloche and enjoy lovely, fresh sourdough for breakfast!

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24-hour sourdough loaf
Yields 1
Ingredients
  1. 585ml/20½fl oz water at 27ºC
  2. 180g/6⅓oz 1:1 (100% hydrated) fresh sourdough starter that's been refreshed the night before and again in the morning (Hour 0)
  3. 900g/31¾oz strong white bread flour
  4. 9g/⅓oz fine sea salt
  5. a little rice flour for dusting your banneton (I can't recommend this enough!!)
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Hour 6
  1. In a bowl, whisk the warm water and starter and mix well
  2. Add the flour and salt (combined well) and mix until all the ingredients come together into a large ball
  3. Cover with cling film and let the dough rest in a cool environment for 1½ hours
Hour 8½
  1. Lift and fold your dough over, do a quarter turn of your bowl and repeat three more times. Repeat hourly 3 more times
Hour 12½
  1. Shape your dough lightly and place into a dusted banneton
  2. Cover with a shower cap or damp tea-towel and leave to prove on the side until the dough has risen by about 50%. This normally takes about 2 hours in a kitchen that is about 18-20 degrees, then transfer to the fridge for 8-12 hours
Hour 24
  1. In the morning, preheat the oven to 220ºC for 30 minutes to 1 hour before you are ready to bake with your La Cloche in the oven. The dish or La Cloche must be very hot
  2. Take the dish out of the oven and sprinkle a little flour over the bottom
  3. Put your dough into the La Cloche and slash the top of your bread using a grignette (or lame) then place the lid back on top and return to the oven as quickly as possible. Bake for 45 minutes
  4. Turn the heat down to 190ºC, remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes
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Cakes & Bakes: St Stephen’s pudding

Home-made St Stephen's pudding with custard | H is for Home #recipe #Christmas #pudding #steamedpudding

If Christmas pudding is too rich or stodgy for your taste, we have a delicious alternative for you to try – St Stephen’s pudding.

Home-made St Stephen's pudding mixture | H is for Home

It’s also a whole lot quicker to prepare than Christmas pudding. There’s no soaking of fruit in alcohol overnight or resting it before steaming. And besides, Stir up Sunday was last week and I’ve missed it!

Home-made St Stephen's pudding mixture in a pudding bowl | H is for Home

As the name suggests, St Stephen’s pudding is eaten on the “Feast of Stephen” – Boxing Day. Apparently, it was eaten at St John’s College, Cambridge on this day. I’ve only managed to find mention of this pudding on Delia’s website and the Cooking with the Saints cookbook. There’s also fleeting mention of the dish in The Ordinary, a 17th century play by William Cartwright where the character, Slicer utters, “Let the Corporal Come sweating under a breast of mutton stuff’d With pudding”.

Pudding bowl with parchment and foil lid | H is for Home Cooked home-made St Stephen's pudding in a steamer | H is for Home

I combined all the ingredients, pressed the mixture into a pudding bowl and secured the lid before putting it in the fridge to cook the following day. There’s no reason why it couldn’t stay in the fridge for up to a week before whipping it out for its 2-hour steam.

Home-made St Stephen's pudding | H is for Home #recipe #Christmas #pudding #steamedpudding

When I prepared it, I followed Delia’s recipe to the letter. However, if I was going to make this again (and I probably will) I’d add an extra 25 grams of sugar and only include the zest of half a lemon.

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St Stephen's pudding
Serves 4
Cook Time
2 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 110g/4oz white breadcrumbs
  2. 50g/2oz self-raising flour, sifted
  3. 50g/2oz light brown soft sugar
  4. 75g/3oz shredded suet
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 110g/4oz seedless raisins
  7. 2 medium Bramley cooking apples, peeled & grated
  8. grated zest of 1 lemon
  9. 3tbsp milk
  10. 1 large eggHome-made St Stephens pudding ingredients
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Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the breadcrumbs, flour, sugar, suet and salt
  2. Add the raisins, grated apples and grated lemon zest
  3. Stir thoroughly to combine well
  4. Beat the egg into the milk and stir into the mixture
  5. Pack the mixture into a well-greased pudding basin
  6. Cover the basin tightly with a sheet of baking parchment, then with a sheet of foil, make a pleat in the centre and secure with string
  7. Boil a kettle and pour the boiling water into a saucepan, about half full, place it on a medium heat and, when it comes back to the boil, fit a steamer over the top
  8. Steam the pudding for 2 hours, checking every so often that the water in the saucepan hasn't all evaporated away
  9. Remove the sheets of foil & baking parchment. Place an upturned plate on the top, quickly flip over and carefully lift off the pudding bowl
Notes
  1. Serve with custard or rum butter
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Adapted from Delia Online
Adapted from Delia Online
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Cakes & Bakes: Luxury mince pies

Home-made luxury mince pies | H is for Home #recipe #mincepies #baking #ChristmasRecipe #pastry #pie

My home-made luxury mincemeat has been ‘resting’ nicely for a month. It’s now just about ready for me to make my first batch of mince pies.

Making pastry cases for home-made luxury mince pies | H is for Home

We’ve got the luxury mincemeat, so how about a bit of luxury pastry too?!

Filling pastry cases for home-made luxury mince pies | H is for Home

I’ve gone for a buttery shortcrust pastry flavoured with almond. The flavours work so well together – and make for the perfect Christmas treat.

Plate of luxury mince pies and mug of tea in front of the fire | H is for Home

Compliment them with a cup of tea or glass of mulled wine, comfy chair and real fire (sleeping dog optional). It’s what Christmas (in fact, winter in general) is all about for us.

Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest for later!

Luxury mince pies
Yields 12
    For the pastry
    1. 180g/6⅓oz plain flour
    2. 70g/2½oz 'tant pour tant' (35g/1¼oz icing sugar + 35g/1¼oz ground almonds)
    3. pinch of salt
    4. 125g/4½oz very cold butter, cubed
    5. 1½-2tbs cold water
    6. A little beaten eggHome-made mince pies ingredients
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    Instructions
    1. Put the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and salt in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine
    2. Add the butter and pulse again until you get to the fine breadcrumb stage
    3. Whilst still pulsing, add the ice cold water until the mixture begins to get lumpy - like dry scrambled eggs
    4. Empty ⅔ of the pastry on to 2 lengths of cling film layered one over the other at right angles
    5. Form the dough into a ball by lifting & bringing together the 4 ends of the cling film. Repeat with the remaining ⅓ of the pastry
    6. Chill in the fridge for ½ to 1 hour
    7. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
    8. Grease a 12-hole or two, 6-hole muffin tins
    9. Lightly flour your work surface, remove your larger ball of dough from the fridge, unwrap and divide it into 12 equal pieces (about 20-22g each)
    10. One by one, roll each piece of dough into a ½cm thick round shape. Cut into perfect circles with a cookie cutter (or upturned drinking glass if you don't have one) that's slightly wider than the hole of your muffin tin. **Rolling each pie case individually means that you don't overwork the pastry by re-rolling over & over again**
    11. Gently press the pastry rounds into the muffin tin holes (handy hint: use a small lump of pastry to do this if you have long fingernails!)
    12. Spoon mincemeat into each pastry case and press down gently to level. Don't overfill
    13. Get the smaller batch of dough out of the fridge and again divide into 12 equal pieces (about 11g each)
    14. One by one, roll each piece of dough into a ½cm thick round shape. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. I used a star-shaped cutter but you can make other Christmas-y shapes like holly leaves, snowflakes, fir trees and the like!
    15. Top each pie with the shaped pastry before brushing the tops with a little beaten egg
    16. Bake for 12-15 minutes
    17. Allow to cool in the tin completely before removing
    18. Put on a cooling rack or serving plate and sprinkle/dredge with icing sugar
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    Luxury home-made mincemeat

    Jars of home-made mincemeat | H is for Home #recipe #Christmas #ChristmasFood

    Many people don’t like thinking about Christmas until the beginning of December – I know I don’t! However, there are a few things that need to be prepared well in advance for them to be at their peak for the big day. Christmas cake, sloe gin, piccalilli  and home-made mincemeat are just a few.

    Home-made mincemeat mixture | H is for Home

    I’m very fussy about my mincemeat; I don’t like it to be overly citrusy – so, very little orange or lemon zest & juice and no mixed candied peel. In addition, it needs to be veggie – so can only contain vegetarian suet. The only way to ensure it tastes the way I like it is to make it myself. A very easy job and well worthwhile. It works out much cheaper than the cost of ‘luxury’ jars of the stuff in supermarkets. Once made, potted up and put away correctly, it stores unopened for years!

    Home-made mincemeat mixture being decanted into jars | H is for Home

    Save my luxury home-made mincemeat recipe to Pinterest!

    Luxury home-made mincemeat
    Ingredients
    1. 200g/7oz currants
    2. 200g/7oz raisins
    3. 200g/7oz sultanas
    4. 100g/3½oz dried cranberries
    5. 100g/3½oz figs, roughly chopped
    6. 100g/3½oz prunes, roughly chopped
    7. 30g/1oz blanched almonds*, roughly chopped
    8. 1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored & finely diced
    9. 300g/10½oz muscovado sugar
    10. 200g/7oz vegetable suet
    11. zest & juice of 1 lemon
    12. 3tsp mixed spice
    13. ½tsp cinnamon
    14. ¼tsp nutmeg
    15. 6tbsp rum or brandy
    16. 100g/3½oz butter, cubedHome-made mincemeat ingredients
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    Instructions
    1. Put all the ingredients except the alcohol into a large saucepan over a low heat
    2. Stir to ensure the contents are well combined and the suet and butter have melted (about 10 minutes)
    3. Allow to cool completely before stirring in the alcohol
    4. Decant into sterilised jam jars - gently bang the bottom of each jar to fit as much of the mincemeat in as possible.
    5. Seal the jars immediately and store for at least a month before use
    Notes
    1. *To blanch almonds, put them in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 1-2 minutes before draining through a sieve. Pat them dry on some kitchen paper or clean tea towel. You can quickly get the skin off one by one by pinching the broader, rounded end of the nut
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    Cakes & Bakes: Pear Galette

    Home-made pear galette with ice cream | H is for Home #recipe #baking #cooking #cookery #dessert #pastry

    This week, we’ve watched the first in Rick Stein’s new series, Rick Stein’s Road To Mexico. His first port of call was California where he met up with Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse. While there, one of her chefs was filmed making a rhubarb galette – it looked amazing. It’s no longer rhubarb season, so I’ve made a pear galette instead.

    Sweet galette pastry | H is for Home

    I much prefer rustic, unfussy food like this to haute cusine with all its foams, purées and the like. A galette is just the kind of rustic dessert I crave on a cold autumn evening. A circle of sweet pastry covered with in-season fruit and roughly folded in on itself, free-form.

    Cored pears | H is for Home

    Instead of a pear galette (or rhubarb), you could make one with stone fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines or apricots. How about apple & pecan, fig, blueberry or cherry?

    Sliced pears tossed in Demerara sugar | H is for Home Laying sliced pears on pastry round | H is for Home

    A savoury galette with autumn & winter vegetables is also a great idea; carrots, beetroot, caramelised onion… with cheeses and/or herbs – the variations are endless!

    Pear galette brushed with melted butter | H is for Home

    It’s such an easy, versatile dish to prepare and cook – pastry with whatever meat, veg or fruit that you have to hand.

    Sliced home-made pear galette | H is for Home
    Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest!

    Pear Galette
    Serves 8
    For the pastry
    1. 320g/11oz plain flour
    2. 2tbsp caster sugar
    3. ¼tsp salt
    4. 115ml/4fl oz cold butter, cubed
    5. 4tbsp cold water
    For the filling
    1. 2 dessert pears
    2. 3tbsp Demerara sugar
    3. 2tbsp fine semolina
    4. 25g/1oz flaked almonds
    5. 2tbsp melted butterHome-made pear galette ingredients
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    For the pastry
    1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, caster sugar and salt
    2. Using a food processor (on pulse) or hand pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the butter is evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces
    3. Add the cold water all at once
    4. Pulse until it begins to come together
    5. Empty the pastry on to 2 lengths of cling film layered one over the other at right angles
    6. Form the dough into a ball by lifting & bringing together the 4 ends of the cling film
    7. Flatten the dough into a disk inside the cling film and chill in the fridge for at ½ to 1 hour
    8. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
    For the filling
    1. Core & evenly slice the pears and put them into a medium-sized mixing bowl
    2. Sprinkle over 2tbsp of the Demerara sugar and toss to cover the pear slices evenly
    To finish
    1. Tear off 2 sheets of parchment paper of at least 35½2 (14"2)
    2. Roll the dough out between the two sheets into a 30cm (12") circle
    3. Slide the dough on to a baking tray
    4. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the semolina evenly over the top of the dough
    5. Lay the slices of pear on to the top of the dough in a circle - leaving a 2cm/¾" gap from the edge. Make the slices slightly overlap and ensure you cover the entire surface
    6. Sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of the Demerara sugar and the flaked almonds
    7. Fold the edge of the pastry over, making sure you overlap it on to itself as you go around
    8. Brush the melted butter over the crust edge
    9. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown
    10. Slide the parchment with the galette on to a wire rack to cool for 10-15 minutes before consuming
    Notes
    1. Serve warm with cream or ice cream
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    Cakes & Bakes: Fig rolls

    Home-made fig rolls | H is for Home #recipe #baking #cooking #cookery #figs #figrolls

    A biscuit recipe twice in as many weeks. We’re on a roll! This week, I’ve made a batch of delicious fig rolls… nothing like those dry horrors you tend to get in the shops. The pastry is buttery, crumbly and melt in the mouth; the filling is sweet, figgy and boozy – just lovely!

    Fig roll filling

    Jacobs is the brand that most people in the UK associate with fig rolls. Americans have Fig Newtons and the French, Figolu.

    Strips of pastry | H is for Home Lines of fig filling on pastry | H is for Home

    There’s a fair amount of debate online on the subject of, “Fig rolls: slice before or after baking?”. I decided to conduct my own experiment to find out.

    Fig rolls before going into the oven | H is for Home

    I’ve decided that I prefer them to be sliced before. The pastry is neater and the fig filling softly oozes using this method.

    Cooked fig rolls

    Disagree with my opinion? Have a look at my photographic proof below! The two on the left were sliced prior to cooking and the pair on the right, after.

    Fig rolls: left, sliced before cooking - right, sliced after cooking | H is for Home

    If you’ve given industrially manufactured fig rolls a try, not liked them and have turned your back on them – try making your own. Believe me, you’ll wonder what took you so long to embrace them!

    Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest for future reference.

    Fig rolls
    Yields 16
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    For the pastry
    1. 125g/4½oz plain flour
    2. 75g/2⅔oz plain wholemeal flour
    3. 25g/¾oz ground almonds
    4. ½tsp baking powder
    5. 2tsp caster sugar
    6. Pinch of salt
    7. 140g/5oz cold butter, diced
    8. 1 egg yolk
    9. 2tbsp milk
    For the filling
    1. 200g/7oz dried figs, stems removed, roughly chopped
    2. Juice of ½ a lemon
    3. 2tbsp dark rum
    4. 2tbsp water
    5. 2tbsp muscovado sugar
    6. ½tsp mixed spice
    7. 1 egg, beatenHome-made fig rolls ingredients
    Add ingredients to shopping list
    If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
    For the pastry
    1. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, caster sugar and salt in a large bowl or food processor
    2. Pulse/rub in the butter to make crumbs
    3. Mix in the egg yolk and just enough milk to bring it together into a coherent dough
    4. shape into a rough rectangle, wrap and chill for about ½ an hour
    For the filling
    1. In a small saucepan, bring the figs 2 tbsp water, 2tbsp dark rum, lemon juice, sugar and spice to a simmer. Cook gently for a few minutes until softened
    2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
    To combine
    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
    2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
    3. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the pastry out to around 20cmx30cm and ½cm thick. Cut in half lengthwise to make 2 long strips
    4. Put a line of filling down one side of each, leaving a slight gap between it and the edge
    5. Brush the edge with water and fold the pastry over the top of the filling pressing down gently to seal
    6. Cut into 4cm lengths and arrange on the baking sheet
    7. Brush the tops with beaten egg before baking for 20-25 minutes until golden brown
    8. Allow to cool on a wire rack before eating
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