Sunday, 16 September 2012

Bread Plait 3 Strand

Today I had fun making three new things with my kitchen aid. I started with Chapatis to eat with lunch and for tomorrow at work. They turned out well although tougher than the ones I like. Better than last time I attempted them though. Then I made the dough for a three strand bread plait. I left it to rise then plaited it then left it to prove. I made it using honey and seed bread flour from our local farm shop. The only problem was when I put it into the oven and set the alarm on our new combo timer and thermometer device I forgot to press the start button after setting the time so my bread came out rather burnt having been in the oven for 30+ mins rather than 20. Oh well below is a picture of it looking gorgeous before I burnt it! After cutting the brown crust off the inner bread and base was still amazing!! I dipped it in oil and raspberry vinaigrette and Doug had his with Strawberry and Vanilla jam. I also helped Doug to make garlic pasta Doug in the kitchen aid. As a garlic fiend I couldn't resist the smell of the dough. Mmm!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Fishy fishy

Whoop my boss let me put a fish tank on my desk at work! I wanted to put our spare fish tank from home on there. I really didn't think he would say yes! I think he was more amused I had asked than anything else!! I have always wanted a fish tank at work! I have had sea monkeys at work before but that was as good as it got! Needless go say they were pretty boring to look at!

I work better when I feel at home in my environment. When I have to move desks or use someone else's desk I always struggle to settle into my work!

I set up my tank this morning and bought done sand (first time since we got out first gold fish a few years ago) and a new filter and two plants. I also bought 4 black phantom tetras to get the tank set up. The sand has made the water very cloudy but that will settle down by the end of the week!

When it is set up fully I would like to get a male Siamese fighter fish and a pleco.

Hollywood Bread Attempt 1.2

Yesterday when I got back from Swindon I cracked out (opened kindle app) the book I bought on bread making by Paul Hollywood. I decided as I had mozerella in the fridge which needed using up to try the mozerella and tomato bread. It was about like a focaccia just more dense with a crispier top. It was by no means a pretty bread but I did taste amazing. The dough scared me as it was so wet I didn't quite think I would be able to do much with it. but wow did It taste amazing. I sent Doug into work this morning with the bread filled with slices of mozzarella and large plum tomatoes and use butter to stop the liquid from the filling from making the bread soggy. Thinking about it I wish I had put pesto in there too. Oh well next time! I took some into work too and have been dipping it into olive oil and vinegar.

I had forgotten to add the last 1/4 of water first and got a tough dough scrapped it thus why this one is called version 1.2!!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Hollywood Style

Eeek! I am so excited to get home!

For the last two days I have been working from Swindon. Last night whilst sat in my hotel room on my lonesome I was watching Great British Bakeoff, one of my favourite programmes. After watching the breadmaking episode and watching the contestants battle with a delightful octopussy looking eight piece plait I decided I would like a go and improving my bread making skills.

I went onto the kindle sight and looked at reviews for Paul Hollywoods books. He has two out; 100 great breads and how to bake. The book 100 great breads had a lot of negative reviews so I decided to go for how to bake. Most of his recipes are breads rather than cakes which put me off initially. I checked the price on the ibooks apple store, it came up as £19.99 :-O and then I checked it on kindle, £7.99. No competition!

I have now downloaded the book and the recipes look amazing. My husband has volunteered himself as a willing taste tester not surprisingly as he loves all things bread related! So my new challenge is to have a go at baking some exciting breads! I cant wait to get home and get started.

Friday, 7 September 2012

First use of kitchen aid

Last night I used my kitchen aid for the first time. The first thing I made was focaccia bread. My husband loves focaccia bread so thy is why I chose this! I divided the dough into three. The first two dough sections I turned into normal focaccia bread with rosemary and salt topping. The final one I experimented with and decided to make a stuffed focaccia. I used mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes in the middle and my goodness did it taste good! It was meant to be for Dougs lunch today but we ended up eating it warm alongside our dinner or truffle butter and pasta which we bought back from Italy. Interestingly I made two lots of truffle butter. The first batch I put into a plastic Tupperware tub and the second one I rolled into a cylindrical shape in some grease proof paper and left both in the fridge. Whilst I was away on honeymoon the one in the Tupperware tube became mouldy but the one in paper was fine. I have also experimented making truffle oil before but I found that the truffle went a little furry after a few weeks so the truffle butter in paper seems to be the best way to preserve the truffles once the tub is opened.

The second thing I made using my kitchen aid was the layer cake I saw online. It turned out less pretty than the one online but tasted good. I made a few changes including using delia smiths recipe, making white chocolate icing and putting raspberry jam on between every layer. I found my cake leaned a little. It wasn't so bad for a first attempt at a multi layer cake but I would definitely want it to be neater next time!!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Plans of my first cake

I am planning what cake to make first with my trusty side kick. I have always wanted to do a cake with more than two layers and I quite fancy something colourful. At first I thought about a Battenburg as my colleague really loves them. However now I think I will make this cake as it just looks so cute!

It is a Martha Stewart pastel layer cake

I will leave the Battenburg for another day!

My New Sidekick

Doug and I decided whilst we were away on our honeymoon that we wanted a new TV and a Kitchen Aid so that we could get rid of all of the kitchen gadgets and replace it with one mighty gadget!! So yesterday with John Lewis vouchers in hand we headed over the the kitchen section of John Lewis. I fell for a metallic blue kitchen aid. She is beautiful and has been named Betty Blue! Doug is a big pasta fan so we also bought the pasta cutter extension and the vegetable and fruit grinder box set. A lot of money later we walked away what looked like the kitchen department of John Lewis and frazzled expressions!! I am a little dubious of our kitchen aid as it cost the same as I spent on my wedding dress. Don't panic, my dress was relatively cheap for a wedding dress but still this is a lot of money to hand over for a kitchen instrument. I hope that it's benefits and uses are worth the costs!! Tonight I want to make my other half some focaccia using the kneading hook!