What the heck is Wings of Goose?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Baking stuff

I've been doing some baking experimentation recently. I love cooking, and have no problem working from different recipies and am confident that they will work and be tasty. Baking however, is another story. Last year at my baby shower, my friend Ruth and I tried to bake. I made muffins which were supposed to to contain half fresh blueberries and half dried fruit. I thought how much nicer it would be to have fresh raspberries with the blueberries rather than the dried fruit. Being such an inexperienced baker (though perhaps common sense should have told me), I ended up with a batch of muffins that were so soggy they would not come out of the cases, and were co collapsed that they were inedible! As a joke, my friend bought me a book entitled Easy Muffins. Surely I could not go wrong... Well I didn't actually get round to baking anything from Easy Muffins until a couple of weeks ago, when I had a sudden desire to bake, and bake, and bake. I decided on muffins which contained apple (we have a huge Bramley apple tree in the garden, and a huge surplus of apples), and something else, I forget what. Anyway, I didn't have the right type of sugar, so I did a little substitution... and once again ended up with a batch of inedible muffins which would not come out of their cases and had to be binned. How ironic!

I have had a few successes though. I baked a Cinnamon Nutella cake for Noah's birthday...

... and an Apple and Walnut cake for Marno's birthday...

... making good use of those apples again! I have bags of them in the freezer, all chopped up and waiting to go in a crumble. Here is a fabulous crumble as it happens (I don't usually have a problem with puddings!) As you can see, I'm not one of those mums who can make a space rocket or a beautiful princess cake.

I also decided it was time to bake bread. I've wanted to for ages, and I have a loaf tin sitting folornly in the cupboard. I was excited to give the dough a good knead, like a buxom cook from a period drama, but with less of the buxomness! Goodness, does kneading give your arms a workout. I think I only gave it three minutes for the first knead, for the first loaf, but on the second (yes, I have baked bread twice now!), I followed what someone suggested in the comments from the brilliant BBCGoodFood website from which I got the recipe, and kneaded it once, left to rise for half an hour, then kneaded it again and left for another hour. I found the second loaf was slightly less thick, and rose a little higher.

Mmmm... freshly baked granary bread straight from the oven, buttered and served with slightly spicy butternut squash and chilli soup, the nicest soup I've ever made.

I think I should be some kind of agent for BBCGoodFood. I use the website nearly every evening and am constantly recommending it to people. 

I made these Mocha Muffins the other day...

...which did actually work, but they weren't the best muffins I've ever tasted. They included raisins, which I wasn't really sure about when I read the recipe, but added them anyway, and I don't think rainins and mocha are the best pairing. 

Anyway, I was going to write about curtains before I was overtaken by cakes, so that will be for next time. Now its time for the little boy to have his milk,

Byeee xxx


  1. When I bake bread I use 1 kilo ordinary plain wheat flour, and 1 kilo of other types of flour (I never go by recipe anymore, but mix a little of whatever I've got in the cupboard, like wholemeal flour, oat flour, seeds and grains etc) and put in about a tablespoon of salt. I use dry yeast so I can use hot water straight from the tap, I don't know how much I use but it's more than a litre anyway. I only knead the dough enough in the bowl to combine the ingredients, then leave to rise until double in size. Then I punch the dough down (which is fun) and divide into three bread tins. Yep, I don't knead much at all. The bread seems to come out the same anyway. Oh, and I use a good amount of rapeseed oil in my bread. This kind of bread is fairly wholemealy, so it's rather heavy, but tasty.

  2. Thanks Jo, I love the idea of putting seeds in - seeded bread is the best! I don't think I'm expereinced enough in the bread making department yet to be as experimental as you are - I would probably have a disaster such an one of those detailed above. I can't believe you add a litre of water!

  3. Yeh I make bread pretty much every day using a method very like Jo's, and usually add honey and seeds. It's a no knead recipe which makes it quick and easy, and you make a big batch of dough which lasts all week. Leave a bit in the tub for the next batch and it acts like a sour dough, giving it a bit more of a tangy flavour which I like!

  4. Ooh, no knead (no pun intended!)! I kneaded for 10 minutes straight today and got a great workout - felt like I'd been swimming! I love the idea of having dough which lasts all week, I'll have to try that; thanks Bek.


Please leave a little message. I would be really excited to have any feedback.