Sunday, 16 October 2011

For centuries, bread had a very important role in human life - not only was the basic food, but also had a symbolic dimension. Its symbolism is extremely rich. Bread was often considered as an unusual food, noble, and in many cultures, especially in Christian was a symbol of holiness. It meant fertility, wisdom and wealth. Therefore, always consumed during vows and masses. Bread also symbolized dignity and worth of human labour... and the habit of sharing bread survived to this day symbolising friendship and hospitality. According to this beautiful custom, we meet today (online) with all home bakers of the world to share our delicious slice of bread with oat flakes ... 

All bakers, we wish you delicious and beautiful loaves! 

Oatmeal Bread 
By Jeffrey Hamelman ‘Bread’/found at Polka

375g white, strong bread flour 

125g wholemeal flour (100%) 
83g rolled oats 
313g water (at a temperature of 24C) 
50g milk 
33g runny honey 
33g vegetable oil 
11g salt 
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 

Place the oats in a mixing bowl and add the warm water and let stand for 20 minutes. When softened, can be easily crushed between the fingers. Add the remaining ingredients and knead everything thoroughly. The dough should be moderately loose with slight tackiness from the honey. 

Cover the bowl with the linen cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for 2 hours. Fold the dough once, after 1 hour. When the dough doubles, gently shape the round loaf and moisten the surface with water (I did it with my own hands) and then sprinkle with oats. Thus prepared loaf, cover with a cloth and leave to rise again for about 1.5 hours. 
Bread can be baked in a baking tray. However, we used the baking stone (pizza stone). This needs to be put into a cold oven so that it’s warming up with it. Preheat oven to 240 degrees C and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 220 degrees C to finish the bake in a receding oven for 10-15 minutes. 

Happy World Bread Day 2011!!!!

Bake Bread for World Bread Day 2011

Monday, 10 October 2011

I often flip through magazines in search of culinary inspiration or just a food that can be done in the blink of an eye. I noticed one interesting regularity - most recently in the British culinary magazines you can read more and more articles dedicated to 'Budget Meals'. In times of overwhelming economic crisis, culinary journalists are full of ideas for the cheapest and quickest dishes. The idea seems to be great, of course if we do not lose the quality of the ingredients. And in huge majority of cases the quality of recommended ingredients is very surprising. I must admit that many of these 'budget' ideas captivated us so much that we really want to share them with you... :)  not even because of the price, which seems to be peanuts, but also in terms of diversity of ingredients and simplicity of preparation.

So, tonight we share with you an 
Asian broth with meatballs and winter greens.
Serves 2/ Easy/ 30 minutes

250g lean pork mince
6 green onions  (3 finely chopped, 3 sliced)
4cm piece fresh ginger (peeled, 1/2grated, 1/2 sliced​​)
2 red chillies (1 finely chopped, 1 cut into strips)
2 handfuls of bread crumbs
sesame oil
1l chicken/vegetable broth 
2 star anise
soy sauce
 100g Kale or other greens/cabbage 

Mix the pork mince, finely chopped spring onion, grated ginger, finely chopped chillies and breadcrumps and 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil in a large bowl. Season really well then form into small balls. Brown all over in a non-stick frying pan. 
Put a chicken stock, star anise, sliced ginger and a good splash of soya sauce in a large saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes and add the kale and meatballs, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add a teaspoon of sesame oil and the sliced spring onions and chilli. Serve in a large bowls.

Isn't it easy peasy? 
Have a lovely evening!

The recipe comes from the 'BBC Olive' by Janine Ratcliffe. 

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Living on a foreign land and being a stranger can be a bit difficult at the times... well, at least nowadays no one force us to choose where we live... however, we’re still far away from our families and friends... Me and Karolka are a living proof of the long, beautiful friendship at a distance... separated by thousands of miles and so we meet together to bake... Today, we return to our native Eastern European traditions... we see each other in a small window of Skype, on a laptop laid on the kitchen table... carefully studying Karolka’s great-grandmother recipe for Buchty. Buchty are one of the most famous baked buns filled with marmalade, ideally plum marmalade. They are one of those recipes that you pass from generation to generation and this is how Karolka got hers from her grandmother, who apparently had received it from her mother... 

I love our long lasting conversations on the Skype... we're gossiping, sharing the news of recent days, disputing about cooking, gardening and medicine, our men, politics (sometimes as it always makes us very angry)... hehehe in a meantime, we’re mixing all the ingredients: flour, milk, yeast, melted butter. We’re drinking tea with lemon (don’t confuse it with lemon tea), we’re talking about flowers and herbs. When buns are prepared and they doubled their size, we shove them into the oven and wait. We've got a moment to gossip about everything and nothing... the weather today is beautiful, better than in a summer. There is something strange going on with the weather in our part of globe, we can’t believe that a few days ago we wore an autumn, heavy cardigans... Ok, our buns are ready, they smell lovely, let’s take them out – we say. We’re taking pictures, showing our buns to each other... we’re so excited and feel as if we were right next to each other... like those little buns in a baking tray... 

‘Buchty’ Buns with homemade plum marmalade. 

1 / 8 l milk 
20 g fresh yeast 
75 g sugar (at your discretion) 
80 g butter 
250 g plain flour 
2 eggs 
Pinch of salt 
120 g plum marmalade (I used my own home made marmalade) 
Extra: ½ cup butter melted in a pan 
For crust: 2 tablespoons butter, dissolved in a little pot, 4 teaspoons sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar. Mix all ingredients to a lumpy consistency. 

Heat the milk. Combine crushed fresh yeast in a bowl and mix with half of the preheated milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. In a large bowl, sprinkle the bottom of the same pinch of salt (in our case about ½ teaspoon) Add flour. Make a small hole in the flour and pour yeast mixture into it and sprinkle them with flour. Allow to rise for 15 minutes in a warm place. 
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. 
To the bowl with the flour and yeast, add 1 egg yolk and 1 egg. Combine with remaining sugar and milk. Using wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients together by moving the spoon from the bottom to the top of the dough to form a smooth dough. You never knead your yeast dough in a machine, the whole secret is in the mixing with the wooden spoon so you can see a bubbles on outer side of the dough. Then pour warm (not hot) butter on the walls of the bowl and doing the same movements with a spoon from the bottom quickly form a smooth dough. The dough should be thick so you can easily form a small balls. Optionally, you can add raisins previously soaked in milk and dried. Cover and place the bowl in a warm place for at least an hour. The dough should double its size. 
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Then smear the baking tray with butter and sprinkle with flour. 
Melt an extra 100g of butter in a pan and use it to cover your hands so the dough is not sticking to the skin. Gently press the dough and divide into 8 large servings. Take each ball and push a teaspoon of plum jam inside it. Each of the balls, dipped in butter and put in the tray. Allow to double the volume for 15 - 30 minutes. Then, using a kitchen brush to smear each ball with egg white and sprinkle with the crumble. 

Bake for 30 minutes. Great warm or cold with a Glass of milk. 

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