Grammy Bread

When I have a cold I require eggy bread, with sweet chilli sauce or sirracha. I know, no class. I also can’t think up names, so grammy (gram flour) bread it is…
Obviously, having a cold, I’m not going to be heading out to buy tofu, so this has to be store-cupboard only.

This serves one hungry cold feeding girl.

2 tablespoons gram flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon black salt
1/ teaspoon turmeric
75ml (approx) soya milk
3 slices of bread- ideally some nice sourdough
2 tablespoons oil

Sift 2 tablespoons of gram flour into a wide low bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of black salt and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Beat in the milk until smooth.

Cut three slices of bread and coat them on all sides with the mixture, leaving them to soak at least five minutes, or until you’re ready.

Now get your plates and cutlery ready, get the oil hot in a big pan.

Sprinkle the top of the bread with cornflour, then transfer into the hot pan with cornflour side down, then sprinkle the other side. I think it makes it crispy. A sieve would get a more even coating but we have a cold you know!

Fry the slices on both sides until crisp and golden brown, spotted with really dark brown in places.

Serve with enough chilli to get your nose running.

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.
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.
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.
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).
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)

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

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

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.

Sourdough Bread in the Machine

A quick guide to sourdough baking in your machine. You’ll need to adjust for your own starter, flour, machine, environment… But I’ve got a lot of people started this way.

Your Starter
Keep your starter in the fridge, in a Tupperware container with a lid. The starter should usually only fill it about one third. Don’t worry about it, it isn’t a pet. You can neglect it for about two weeks without any repercussions and it will come back from almost anything. I’ve seen a starter black and fuzzy white with mould, it had the top scraped off and was refreshed. Fine and bubbly!

That said, mine does have a name!

To bake
Pull the starter out of the fridge and pop in on your scales. I keep approximately 300g as my basic amount- doubling your starter when you refresh is ideal. Set the scales to zero.

Add half strong white and half rye flour, then the combined weight again in water- to add up to the amount of refreshed starter you need in your recipe. The rye is important, it makes your starter happy.

For a basic white loaf you need 300g refreshed starter. So add to your starter container:
75g strong white flour
75g rye flour
150g water

Stir this in well, you now have a pot if refreshed starter. 300g will go into your bread, the rest will go back into your fridge. Scrape down the sides to keep it tidy and discourage mould.

Now get your bread machine pan and pop that on the scales. Reset the scales to zero between each addition… Add:

300g of refreshed starter
500g strong white flour (up to about 300g could be wholemeal, more than that and the loaf will be quite heavy)
250g water
Pinch of salt

Put the pan into your machine and set it to a four hour wait (or more for overnight) and a basic white bread cycle of about four hours. I sometimes use my machine’s wholemeal cycle if I’m using a lot of brown flour, but I’m not sure how much difference it makes.

Wait, remove from machine, cool on a rack, scoff.

Adjusting the recipe
Every starter, every flour, every environment, every machine is different.

If your loaf isn’t how you like it…

First try increasing the water by 50g. If that makes it worse then you’re still on to something! Decrease by 50g next!

If that doesn’t work try increasing the delay on your machine by half an hour…. If that makes it worse… You get the idea!

If you’re still not happy try refreshing your starter a few days in a row without baking (compost the excess), then try again starting with the basic recipe.

Then try a higher proportion of rye when you refresh, try organic flours, try keeping your starter in a warmer part of the fridge- or a cooler- or on the counter, try different brands of flour

Once you have a basic loaf recipe you are happy with you can play!

Try adding seeds, substituting part of the liquid for your favoured milk, adding a little oil, adding garlic or herbs…

Garlic Bread of Joy

Eat it with soup, stew or ratatouille.

200g refreshed sourdough starter
200g soy milk
500g strong white flour
1 tsp salt

2 tablespoons Tesco Baking Fat
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp coarse sea salt
Pinch of dried rosemary (optional)

Mix the dough ingredients and knead well.

Shape into a long loaf and cut deep slices. Mix the gatlic and fat, and smear into the slices. Sprinkle with the coarse sea salt, some dried rosemary would be good too.
Rest for two hours, or up to four..
Bake at 180c for about half an hour, or until well risen and browned.
Allow to cool on a rack for another half hour.

This is best served warm, but very nearly as good toasted the next day… But don’t expect a kiss after!