I have been following Sally’s blog, Bewitching Kitchen, since I first discovered blogland.
Saffron crocus makes a surprise appearance in the bottom of a planter this weekend. Thought you might like to see its long red stamens!
And the answer to the question? YES!
I successfully unfroze a couple of tablespoons of matsoni culture yoghurt that had been in the freezer for two months and made a fresh pot of yoghurt with it yesterday. Worth knowing if you go wild and get lots of cultures from a supplier to try out and are swamped with yoghurt, or if you are going away and want to wind down the yoghurt making for a while. I don’t know if you can do the same for kefir? I want to try that sometime and if you could freeze it, then I would certainly get some. There is only so much yoghurt you can keep going in a small household!
What a treat! An opportunity to load my bread with delicious thick slightly soured cream and create a pillow-soft loaf of bread which toasts like a dream. If only all white bread was like this, then I for one would be quite content.
So good I made it twice, the first time as it was written, hence the huge high top of the loaf, the recipe makes 925 grams of dough, squeezed into a square cornered 2lb tin, as recommended by Dan, this guarantees giving you a Wallace and Gromit height bread like the ones in ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death.’ If you missed this have a look for the trailer on You Tube.
To make your own Yoghurt Cream (creme fraiche, sourcream?)
a carton of double (heavy) cream
two teaspoons of fresh plain live yoghurt
a yoghurt maker or widenecked thermos flask or somewhere which is consistently warm to leave the yoghurt to culture.
Heat the cream till it is almost boiling and let it cool to below 50 C. In the meantime, pour boiling water over/into all untensils, containers etc, if you haven’t just put them through the dishwasher.
Put the yoghurt and the cream into your chosen container, put the lid on and wait for 8 – 10 hours for the yoghurt to culture the cream. If you have a cool home, try and find a warm spot, the cream should culture eventually but it might take more like 24 hours. I use a little electric yoghurt maker from Lakeland but there are many ways to do this and it’s worth finding a method that suits you and your budget.
For this loaf
Edit November 2011: I followed Dan Lepard’s recipe and method which was published originally in The Guardian here.
I used Shipton Mills Bakers White No. 1 flour and Allinsons Easy Bake Yeast and my home made yoghurt cream as above.
To celebrate the loveliness of this loaf I toasted a slice and covered it in beans and a magnificent sausage from Sunday’s Slow Food Market.
I had a little parcel this weekend from Lynne who is an enthusiastic baking friend who posts on Dan Lepard’s forum. She is based in Switzerland where I have it on good authority it is impossible to buy a decent sausage roll.
This is the best Wikipedia can do, but a good sausage roll is a mouthful to treasure!
We swap obscure ingredients from time to time and she eggs me on to bake things I would normally never dream of attempting. Lynne doesn’t have a blog yet, I think she is a bit busy, but I reckon it is only a matter of time…
Lynne knows my fondness for Boots disposable shower caps for covering my bannetons when the dough is rising and has sent me a box of three different sized food covers, so if the Three Bears do turn up and want to make bread, I’ll be ready for them. Though I am not sharing my picallilli with them. More on that in a later post.
She also popped in a box of French yoghurt enzymes to try out and, a very pretty little pack of mini loaf cases in the parcel and it’s not my birthday. Anyway, I have put one lot in the yoghurt maker this evening and it should be ready for breakfast. Such a good idea, wonder why you can’t get them here?
So here are some virtual flowers from Zeb to say thank you!
The following morning – the yoghurt enzymes worked beautifully! A sharp fresh tasting French yoghurt. Now to make some Mellow Bakers breads…
I haven’t made a cake for a while now but at the weekend I made a version of Dan Lepard’s stone fruit yoghurt cake from the Guardian recipes this time last year. I know Caroline makes this cake a lot – see her lovely summer version of this cake here. I had some dark skinned plums that hadn’t made it into the latest batch of plum preserves, and a little pot of mahlab, (obscure ingredient of desire sourced here) duck eggs which are great for cakes, and some yoghurt made with double cream (whistles and looks the other way).
I want to put it on record, that I’ve decided that I can make cake with pieces of fresh fruit in after all. The last time I attempted to make a cake with fresh fruit it went very wrong, have a look here:-
Using this recipe it came out like this:
Once it was cooked, we left it to cool for a bit and then turned it out. With great restraint left it to cool and then ate it with some more of the supersonic yoghurt. Yum. I really recommend treating yourself to double cream yoghurt once in a while. It comes out like a cross between clotted cream and creme fraiche. I might put some it in some scones next.
This cake made 8 glorious slices:
We had two test pieces the day it was made, and a further two pieces on Sunday afternoon for tea in the great outdoors, having burnt a few calories rambling in some fantastic woods in Gloucestershire.
Another two pieces were warmed up in the oven and then forgotten, thus evolving into an all together different sort of cake with a gorgeous crusty caramelised exterior which we had on Monday night; and the final two pieces a few nights ago with some extra cooked plums (microwaved with vanilla and cinnamon and a little sugar) and a little more cream yoghurt. School puddings were never like this….
Now it’s all gone.
To make divinely decadent yoghurt, or maybe what I made was creme fraiche? you take 200 grams of double cream, heat it gently till it just comes near the boil, allow to cool down, add two teaspoons of yoghurt and mix in and then leave to culture as you would any yoghurt you make at home. A perfect way to use up transform elderly cream that you forgot about in the fridge.
These have two claims to fame, one they are made with home cultured buttermilk and, two they are made with 00 Italian flour. Actually they have three claims to fame, they are light and utterly lovely and I was really proud of myself as I usually make rubbish scones. However Brian ate, let me whisper it … five of these in one go… then he didn’t want supper, what a surprise.
There. That’s all. Thank you Rachel Allen, I love your book, Bake. It doesn’t scare me like some cook books do.
I’ve made several things from it now and so far so good. I just looked and the scone recipe is here on the net. So there is no excuse for anyone not to join in.
Written originally in Swedish by Tove Jansson, a Swedish speaking Finnish writer, and much adored all over the world, the Moomins arrived in England in 1964 as the Finn Family Moomintroll. My mother promptly got hold of a copy and read it with us and the Moomins turn up in my dreams even now. (Click Continue Reading to see the recipe for this Finnish bread….)