Baked Beet Bourgignon and Homemade Sourdough Baguette

A long slow recipe, not that much effort if you’re around the house all day. Inspired by this recipe.
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Start the bread the day before. My starting point was this recipe, adapted for my starter and the bread machine.

The recipe will serve 6-8 but I make it for two and have lots of leftovers.

Sourdough Baguette
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My timeline
Night before -at 9pm (ish) – mix levain rest 12 hours (ish)
9am – into machine – 3.5 hour cycle
12:30- rest 3 hours
3:30 – shape, rest 1 hour
4:30 – bake
5:00 – cool 1 hour
6:00 – eat

The night before- mix:

20g white flour
20g rye flour
40g water
20g starter (no need to refresh as long as you baked in the last week)

Leave it tightly covered, out of the fridge, overnight.

In the morning:

Put the above mix (levain) in the bread machine and add…

500g white flour
200g water
Pinch of salt

Set the machine to a French bread cycle if you have it- or a standard dough cycle of at least 2 hours.

(Now start your Bourgignon…)

Allow the resulting dough to rest 6 hours or as long as you can. 3 hours on a warm day worked fine.

Then divide the dough into four. Shape each piece into a baguette using plenty of flour. Rest for another hour, while the oven heats to 250c.
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Slash the tops and brush with a little water before putting them in the oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 200c for a further 10.
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Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour on a rack.

Beet Bourgignon

Ingredients
10 medium beets (I make this when I have a glut, you can reduce the beetroot and up the carrot if necessary), scrubbed and peeled
3 medium carrots, peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
15g (half a pack) of dried mixed mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or more (keep the soaking water)
2 medium onions
4 cloves of garlic
4 fresh or smoked tomatoes, or 1/2 tin or chopped tomatoes
250ml red wine (vegan)
3 fresh bay leaves
150g puy or green lentils
10 pearl onions (if you can get them)
Sea salt
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornflour
Salt and pepper

Method
Start this in the morning, the longer the flavours have together the better it will taste. You can pull it out of the oven at any time and do something else, or do everything first thing, and then leave it to rest. Use a timer to keep track of how long things have been in the oven and you won’t have to think at all.

Preheat the oven to 200c.

Cut the beetroot into large chunk,- probably quarters, and the carrot into chunky sticks.
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Toss in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the thyme leaves, in an oven-safe pan that has a lid.

Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180c.
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Finely chop the onion and garlic. Roughly chop the tomatoes and mix it all in, then return to the oven with 1 more tablespoon of oil, for 20 minutes. If you are using tinned tomatoes then add them at the next stage.

Then drain and chop the mushrooms and add to the pot with the bay leaves, wine, tinned tomatoes and pearl onions (if you are using them), the soaking liquid from the mushrooms and a little water if necessary to cover everything.
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Return to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Put the lid on and give it a further 20…

Then switch it off with the pan inside.

Boil the puy lentils in vegetable stock until just tender.

When you want to eat in an hour…

Add the puy lentils and heat gently on the stove.

Serve with your baguettes, a salad and sunshine.

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Beany Vegetable Flatbread

This bread has loads of good nutrition and hearty flavour.
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Serve with salads, for a picnic or for children.

Serves 2 as a substantial snack, light lunch or supper with side dishes.
Ingredients
100g refreshed starter
300g white flour
Tablespoon dried oregano
Pinch salt
200g beany stew*
Coarse salt
Vegan Choritzo, finely chopped (optional)
Drizzle of olive oil

* Make a simple stew another day, the exact ingredients aren’t important. For this flatbread I used a big scoop of a stew containing:
75% Cannelini beans
Roasted tomatoes
Roasted onions
Roasted green pepper
Spinach
Leave as much sauce behind in the pot as possible.

Method
Knead everything together except the coarse sea salt, the beans and vegetables will disintegrate.
The dough shouldn’t be too wet, add flour if necessary.
Allow the dough to rest for an hour and then roll it out, using extra flour to dust the table and rolling pin.
Sprinkle over the salt and Choritzo, then drizzle generously with olive oil. Allow to rest for another half hour (or longer), then bake for 30mins at 229c.
This won’t rise much, but it will crisp and be rich and satisfying. You won’t need much with this.

Aduki and Sweet Potato Burgers

The burgers are inspired by and based on these Sweet Potato Sliders. I was given two huge sweet potatoes that needed using up- they’re not on my usual shopping list.

This will make approximately eight burgers and eight buns.
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These aren’t a firm meat-like burger, they are soft and full of flavour. Serve with crunchy salad or pickles inside the bun for contrast. I like them on a sourdough bun with quick pickled cucumber and carrot, sirracha and mayo.

Sourdough Burger Buns
200g refreshed starter (100%)
500g flour
200g soy milk
Pinch of salt
20g olive oil
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Knead, rest 4 hours, shape (8 big buns/ any number of small), rest 1 hour, bake (200c 20 mins), split, toast, fill, eat.
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Aduki Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers

Ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes
200g aduki beans- soaked, boiled, drained… Or one can just drained
1 small onion very finely chopped
1/2 stick celery, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
Handful of polenta to coat

1 sliced onion to top

Method
Bake the sweet potatoes at 200c for about an hour until soft, allow to cool.
Fry the onions and celery in the olive oil until translucent but not coloured. Put the onions (in the frying oil) in a bowl with all the other ingredients except the polenta and the sweet potato.
Use your hands to peel the sweet potatoes, put the insides in the bowl with the other ingredients and use your already sticky hands to mash and mix it all together.
Shape eight burgers to fit the buns you’ve made (or little sliders for mini buns) and coat them in polenta.
Place them on a non-stick baking tray or mat and heat the oven to 180c, while they rest a little.
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When the oven is hot, put the burgers in and bake for 20 minutes. You can eat them now but, for a firmer and quick-final-stage-cook burger, you can allow them to cool and the fry each side in a pan with a little oil when you’re ready for them. Fry the sliced onion alongside them as a topping.
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Serve with salad, chips and all the trimmings.

Bagels of Awesomeness… Sweet

Sourdough Bagels, the perfected recipe. Reliable and perfect in every respect, at least for my taste.
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Ingredients
100g refreshed starter (1/2 water, 1/4 rye, 1/4 white)
250g water
10g olive oil
600g strong white flour
10g olive oil
Pinch of salt

A little water

Optional: poppy seeds, sesame seeds or oats to top
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Method
Start the night before.

Mix and knead well, 2:30 knead in my bread machine or find someone very strong. This dough is like rubber.

Divide into eight equal pieces and roll into 20cm long sausages. Dip one end in water and seal into a circle. Rest in the fridge over night.
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In the morning start preheating the oven to 200c and then boil the bagels in batches for 1 minute, before adding your optional topping.

Bake them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until magnificently risen and brown. I use a silicone mat to stop them sticking, a little oil, or flour works too. With a good non stick or well seasoned tray you might not need anything.
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Allow them to cool, at least a little, before slicing and toasting.

Pulled Pork-Style Jackfruit in Ciabatta Buns, with BBQ Beans

This is a fair amount of work for something which looks so casual, but it is very delicious.
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Start the Ciabata the night before… And don’t forget to put the beans on to soak!

Sourdough Ciabata
This was based on the recipe here, but I halved it and found that the dough came out very dry. So here is my version:

The night before:
Mix together
100g starter
55g water
130g flour
To make a thick starter, knead this and leave somewhere warm for around 15 hours. It should double in size.

In the morning
Mix together:
180g water
30g plant milk (I’ve used almond or soy)
310g flour
15g olive oil
Pinch of salt

And slowly add to all of your thick starter from last night, keep the dough hook going while you pour it slowly in.

The resulting dough will be sloppy and sticky. Almost impossible to knead by hand. I suspect that this depends a lot on the flour you use, so adjust quantities if necessary.
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There should be long strings of gluten visible.

Leave the dough to rise somewhere warm for about 2 hours.

Then transfer to a well floured baking sheet, and sprinkle lots of flour on top (I use my trusty liner to stop it sticking). The dough will be almost pourable.
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Cut the dough into eight rough squares with two scrapers, and separate a bit. Allow to rest for 40 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 200c.

(This is a good time to boil the beans you soaked last night).
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Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Until risen and browned. Allow to cool on a rack.

Next make your Mango Barbeque Beans

This is loosely based on, and entirely inspired by Isa Chandra Moscowitz’s Mango BBQ Beans from Appetite for Reduction (p133)… But without many of the ingredients.

200g each of dried haricot and cannelini beans, soaked overnight, simmered for 45 minutes and drained.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon good smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons chilli flakes (or to your taste- I often leave them out if cooking for children)

Method
Sauté the onion and garlic until softened. Add the tomato, mango juice and spices. Reduce a little and add the beans.
Cook slowly for at least 45 minutes. Then let it rest if you can, before reheating to serve.

Prepare your Pulled Pork Style Jackfruit:

This is based on the recipe here. It’s a great recipe and as with all great recipes you end up making them your own- this is my version. This way suits my need to do little bits of cooking through the day, and not use too many pots!
2 tins green jackfruit in brine
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

Spices:
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon good smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
Splash of water
2 teaspoons golden syrup
2 teaspoons lime juice

Method
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until starting to brown. Add the spices and then the sauce ingredients, before allowing it to reduce a little.

Shred the jackfruit with your hands (especially the tougher cores) and deep fry until starting to crisp. Mix the jackfruit in with the sauce and leave it to rest. The mix will be fairly dry, but the jackfruit should be fully coated.

When you are ready to eat, spread the jackfruit mixture on a lightly oiled tray and heat in the oven at 200c until starting to dry and crisp at the edges- about 15-20 minutes.

Serve the jackfruit in the buns, with Mayonaise abd some salad. Serve the beans, and maybe some corn on the cob on the side.
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Smokey Stew – Chickpeas, Sausage, Spinach, Potatoes, Smoke… And a vaguely Moroccan Sourdough

A hearty, smokey stew with delicious bread. Cold smoking the ingredients makes this really special.
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Start the bread first:

Vaguely Moroccan Sourdough Bread
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I took advice and pointers from this recipe, but my version is fairly different – using only sourdough and cumin rather than fennel.

Ingredients
100g refreshed starter
600g white flour
225g water
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornmeal to dust

Method
I make it in the machine- 2:30h dough cycle (or knead well), then shape, sprinkle over the cornmeal, slash and rest 1 hour.
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Bake for 30 minutes at 200c and allow to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes, this will allow it to finish cooking.
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Stew
I made this with tomato, chickpeas, sausage and garlic that had been smoked in my cold-smoker. It would still be delicious with the plain variety, or you could add some liquid smoke.

Ingredients – to serve two with bread
4 cold-smoked tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves of cold-smoked garlic, finely sliced
1 tin of smoked chickpeas (drained), or a roughly equivalent quantity of home cooked ones
2-3 sausages made according to the Italian Feast Recipe in Vegan Brunch and then cold smoked (the recipe makes 4, I freeze them)
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4 medium potatoes, cubed
3 handfuls frozen spinach (that’s what I had, but I am positive that about 4 big handfuls of fresh, roughly chopped, would work well
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Splash of balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Approximately 250ml white wine and 250ml water
Pinch of salt
Generous quantities of freshly ground pepper

Method
Slice the sausage diagonally, about 1cm thick. Fry the slices on both sides in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until browned and crisp. Remove from the oil and set aside.

Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan and fry the garlic and spice until the garlic is nutty brown. Then remove the garlic, and set aside as well.

Fry the potato until browned on all side, then add the chopped tomatoes and cook slowly until they have collapsed into a thick sauce.

Add the chickpeas, vinegar, pre fried garlic and spinach add water and wine in equal proportions until the potatoes are just covered. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce is quite dry – about 45 minutes.
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Stir in the fried sausage and season before serving. Use generous bowls with bread on the side.

For the children
If this doesn’t suit the kids, serve the bread with some fresh fruit and vegetables, some beans or chickpeas in tomato sauce…

Pitta Bread with Falafels and Tahini-Yoghurt Sauce

Vaguely Middle-Eastern. This can be prepared in advance and taken separately for a picnic, or served hot at home.

The components:
For two adults and three small children
Falafels (Tinned chickpeas) / Traditional Falafels (dried- more planning)
Tahini yoghurt sauce – 1 tablespoon tahini to 4 of home made vegan yoghurt
Salad- leaves, shredded onion, carrot and cucumber
Pitta Bread
Sirracha

Sourdough Pitta Bread Recipe

150g refreshed starter
200g strong white flour
75g water
Pinch of salt
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