I had intended to keep this blog very craft orientated but the reality is I also love cooking and gardening so these things are going to have to get a mention…
Last year my sister and I enjoyed a great day out at River Cottage HQ on a mushrooming course (I highly recommend this, it was great fun) . Apart from learning to pick the correct mushrooms without poisoning ourselves we also had a cooking demo from Daniel Stevens who mentioned he was writing a Bread book as part of the River Cottage Handbooks. Now I do like to make a bit of bread so I have waited patiently for his book to come out and here it is.
I had a good read, got all my bread kit out and then ended up making my old favourite, Maple and Pecan using a Nigella recipe! How boring is that? It’s not that there weren’t lots of inspiring recipes but I couldn’t settle on one and I really fancied some nutty bread. I did, however, use lots of tips including using a steam tray in the bottom of the oven and pushing my fingers into the dough at the second kneading instead of bashing it about (although I have to say, I like the bit where you beat the dough up and get rid of the days frustrations – much more fun!).
I should mention the Stelton bread bag in the back of this photo as it is brilliant for storing bread. I would also say that the ‘Preserves’ book from the River Cottage Handbook is worth buying, especially if you grow your own and have a glut of fruit or veg. I made huge amounts of home made ketchup last year and we have jars of chutney from green tomatoes.