Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The GG Bread Revolution

I've started baking bread.

As any of my readers might know, I really do love baking, but I truly have never ventured past soda bread within the realms of real loaves. I have a Sonoma Sourdough addiction that is costing me dearly. But I only buy a couple of loaves a week so have just about been able to put up with the crazy $8 pricetag.

The blogger Gourmet Girlfriend, yet another talented individual I came across via instagram, and her #ggbreadrevolution persuaded me to give bread a go. And I'm so glad I did.  She uses a New York Times recipe for a no knead bread. 

It's really simple. Four ingredients. Flour, yeast, salt, water. And lots of time, but not much kneading. Truly, this is worth giving a go.


3 cups of plain flour. Use the best you can afford.
1/4 teaspoon of yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 5/8 cups of water  (yes, this is just a fraction over 1 1/2 cups of water)

Incorporate all the ingredients with your hands. My tip is to have wet hands at all times when handling dough - and this one is sticky!
Place in a glass or ceramic bowl (not plastic, it won't rise as well) for 16-18 hours in a warmish spot. Your kitchen will work just fine for this.
Turn the risen dough onto a flour surface and roll into a ball. Sprinkle flour on the top and cover with a tea towel for another couple of hours.
Pre-heat your oven to 220C and place your french oven (ie Le Creuset) inside for 30 minutes.
Then put the dough into the pre-heated french oven and place the lid on. Bake for 30 minutes, and then remove the lid for the final 10-15 minutes.
Allow bread to cool.

Not much effort, but it's not immediate either. Miss 3 has really taken to bread making. In fact, after just a few weeks, she can almost measure and mix the ingredients without a great deal of help from me.  Really the part she seems to struggle with the most is trying to not spill the ingredients everywhere!  Big vats of flour are more than a little tricky for toddlers, I am slightly terrified that she will drop my 5kg container off the kitchen worktop....

It's gorgeous bread. It does have a bit of a crust and a soft and chewy inside. Not really big enough for sandwiches, but the most wonderful accompaniment to lunch or dinner.  And it's the star at breakfast with jam & butter.  Be sure to buy yourself some stunning quality butter.
And check out #ggbreadrevolution on instagram for many more beautiful loaves.

Have I convinced you yet?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

'grams of my life - The Jude Blereau edition

If you don't follow me on Instagram, please do! I am much more active here than on my blog - so much more do-able with 2 littlies in tow! You can search for me under heavenlyingredients

I've just properly discovered Jude Blereau. I came across her book for children 'Wholefood for Children' a few years ago when I was researching cooking for Miss (now) 3. Whilst I enjoyed it, I just borrowed it from the library and none of her recipes entered my everyday cooking. But a few months ago I came across Wholefood when I was sitting in Jammy Cow in Mona Vale. Such an incredible encyclopedia-style book, and great introduction to wholefoods. Totally inspired.  I now have my own copy and have already cooked more than a few things from it.

Then around the same time I came across a Seminar led by Jude Blereau, and by chance it was also in Sydney.  I booked in straight away. The three hours there has re-ignited a passion for feeding my family the best way I can, and continuing to learn about and enjoy food. Jude spoke mainly on how to stock a wholefoods panty, and then how to meal plan and always eat well.  She spoke about many of the falsehoods and food fashions that we have been through (especially low fat!!!!), and smashed them. Jude and Holly Davis (also so so dynamic and interesting) went into a lot of detail about good and bad fats, and how to use them. We also talked about what items were really necessary for the kitchen, how to choose knives, breadboards and so much more. I was straight off to buy fresh organic ghee, amongst other things, the next day. It smells totally amazing, like a bakery with a hint of sweetness, and a great base for meals.

The day after the seminar, I was off to my local health food shop with a long shopping list.  Unfortunately I think some items will prove hard to find. Dashi flakes anyone??? I decided to make chicken stock from scratch to make poor little sick Miss 1 Soba noodle chicken soup. I really do believe that food is better than medicine. It nurtures, it shows love, it heals, it nourishes. Medicine doesn't do all those things. Thankfully, she is on the mend. And yes, strangely enough, my Doctor did tell me that there was no medicine that was going to help her get better.

Roasted Vegetable Quiche, a Jude Blereau recipe from the Wholefoods book.  A tart that doesn't feel indulgent, but healthy and tasty. Delicious.

Raspberry muffins, another recipe from Wholefood by Jude Blereau.  With these colder days I have been craving cake with my tea in the afternoon.  These were just beautiful.

Can't wait to get my mits on a copy of Jude's new book, Wholefood Baking. Totally in my ballpark.