I have so much blogging to catch up on it’s ridiculous. There are cakes, breads, Band of Bakers, wedding bake offs and some glorious dinners to tell you about, but I’ll start with a belated round up of all the food & drink I documented on my Instagram in April. Follow me here if you so wish.
Recipes from this month’s Instagram recap: spiced stout sourdough hot cross buns / chocolate & Guinness sourdough hot cross buns / chocolate & Guinness sourdough cake with whiskey caramel glaze.
I’ve been talking for ages about making sourdough pizza and I finally got round to making it! I made up the dough in the afternoon & let it proof and then my friend joined me in the evening for some homemade pizza & beers, or tea in my case as my commitment to my marathon training is such that I’m not drinking this month*.
I followed the recipe from Dan Lepard’s Short & Sweet which still my first stop for all baking tasks. So at about 2.30pm I combined 200g sourdough leaven with 300ml water, 500g strong white flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to create a shaggy mess of a dough. The dough only needed stretching once after 10 minutes resting, at which point I realised that it was the most gloriously smooth and stretchy dough I have ever had the joy of working with. I then left it for 4 1/2 hours to proof. This may well have been the easiest dinner I have ever made.
Once my friend arrived that evening, I heated the oven to 220C fan; it’s hottest temperature, with 2 baking trays inside to heat up. I divided up the dough into 6 x 150-200g balls leaving 2 on the side to rest for 20 minutes and popping the extra 4 in the freezer.
Then the fun bit. We stretched the dough out on some makeshift peels, which in this case were chopping boards lined with baking paper. There was much hilarity as we realised that the dough’s elasticity meant that every time we stretched it out it sprang back, it was much trickier than we thought it would be! We topped the dough with sundried-tomato pesto, tomatoes, chorizo, mozzarella and a few chilli flakes before sliding them on to the baking trays in the oven and baking for 15 mins.
The result was two light, crispy crusted pizzas, with some rich, spicy toppings. We were probably a little heavy on the toppings which meant the centre wasn’t as crisp as it could have been, but it was a minor complaint. I think just scrapping the fresh tomatoes or swapping them for a few small cherry tomatoes would be enough to fix this. I’m looking forward to getting the spare dough out of the freezer and seeing how the second batch go!
*Paris being the exception, because going to Paris and not drinking wine is wrong.
I was lucky enough to spend last weekend in Paris. This wasn’t a normal weekend in Paris though, this was for my Grandmother’s 80th birthday and that entire side of my family went. In total there were 14 of us, which made choosing what to do and where to go almost impossible! So The Boy and I decided that the best option was to not make any plans, and to just go with the flow, which turned out to be a wise decision.
We covered all the visiting Paris basics. We drank lots of coffee and ate lots of pastry. In fact we drank and ate a lot of everything really. We walked for miles and miles. Went to beautiful shops and markets and gazed at many beautiful buildings. I got to practice my French and cringe at my family speaking English to everyone. C’est la vie. Can’t wait to go back.
Highlights included the food market Marché des Enfants Rouges, lunch at Café Le Brebant, browsing around Merci boutique, the whole family going on the carousel in Le Jardin des Tuileries, the Sunday foodmarket on Rue Montmartre, Notre Dame and the fascinating bird market on the Ile de la Cité.
Thought I’d share a snapshot of yesterday’s roast dinner with you. We had a lovely joint of roast beef, with super crispy roast potatoes, roasted jerusalem artichokes with garlic, parsnip puree with mustard, a few carrots & peas and a little beef gravy. Not a bad dinner I can tell you.
Mine’s the bowl on the left. Much to The Boy’s despair I eat everything out of bowls. Even roast dinners.