Monthly Archives: June 2013

Anadama Bread – Apprentice #1

Anadama BreadHello blog readers.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. So long in fact, that my wife is threatening to demote me to guest blogger status if I don’t get my act together! :)

So here is a post for you…

I’m currently working on the following:

  • Learning more about bread
  • Extending my baking repertoire
  • Extracting as much value as possible out of the bread books I currently own 

And in order to this, I:

  1. Picked a bread book from the bookshelf, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
  2. Am working through it from cover to cover, testing every recipe, even if it doesn’t appeal to my usual taste for certain types of bread

The first recipe I have tried is for Anadama Bread, and if you follow this series of posts over the coming weeks, you’ll notice that’s because the book is in alphabetical order.

My first challenge was motivating myself to actually make this Anadama Bread.

I’d never heard of it before and quite frankly, from the photo in the book it looked boring. I had spent so long trying to perfect an open crumb, chewy sourdough that anything vaguely resembling a commercial sandwich loaf from a tin seemed like a waste of effort.

But as always when you try something new, you learn something new, and this bread turned out to be delicious (and has been made again since which is a good sign).

The molasses enriches the dough, and soaking the polenta/cornmeal overnight turns it from a coarse grain into a deep and subtle flavour.

I’m not going to type out the recipes from the book, as I’m working through every single bread I’d end up reproducing the whole book, which would look a lot like stealing!

But, if I find the recipes online, I’ll point you in the direction from each post.

Here is the Anadama Bread Recipe: 

Use the tag “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” to navigate all the posts in this series.

Shake out.

Our everyday life: week 25

In those rare moments where we had sunshine, or at least no showers, C took his ducks to the “pond” :)



At the end of the day, after lots of rain…


…perfect weather for strawberries (and a good drink) with Shake in the garden


Sandpit closed until further notice


My babies are turning red!


Lovely Sunday afternoon walk with lovely people, and the chance for C to stroke lots of farm animals. I think the pigs were his favourite!


Oaty-banana-white chocolate cookie things. They were OK, but I’ve made better snacks :)


C digging into Shake’s french toast (from Tartine - you really should make it!)


I was planning to share our favourite dressing at the moment, but there was no light last night when I wanted to take a photo


I thought you’d find it funny to see the state of our table behind the scenes!


Shake introduced C to some classic Disney :) Can’t wait for him to see The Aristocats!




Favourite posts this week



I have been a slacker, but things have been BUSY here!

:: I love this little jacket. My knitted socks fell apart so I might find a different project for now

:: A new snack for C, perhaps. He is no longer tolerating oatcakes, rice cakes or pita bread!

:: Apricot Tart to die for

:: Most of my favourite things in a milkshake – yes!!

:: Our (few) home-grown strawberries are nearly ready, but I think we will just eat them! If we do make some jam, it would (hopefully) look something like this one

:: Speaking of strawberries, these popsicles would be amazing, were we to have any sort of warm weather ;)

:: Katie is the best, right?

:: Love the sound of this prune tart

Hope you have had a lovely week and weekend!

Life has been so busy (but good) and it looks like I am returning to work (part-time) soon. We have been trying to settle C into a nursery which hasn’t been fun, but hopefully it will get a little easier in time.

I’ve started a new coursera course, who knows if I will find the time to do it all, but so far so interesting!

Food has been the last thing on my mind which is why there hasn’t been much to share! I need to organise myself a little better, especially as I’ll be working, and I’ll make something for you soon.



Our everyday life: week 24

I don’t know what these flowers are called, but they are growing out of the walls around our neighbourhood. I love them!


Shake made (AMAZING) bagels! He is planning to share lots of bread stories on the blog, but his list of things to do is veeeery long (ALWAYS!) Oh, and bagels, hummus and bacon is a winning combination for lunch with us.


C can’t believe it’s cold enough in JUNE to wear a mama-knitted woolly hat. Sorry, my love.


HUGE garlic clove – compared with my thumb.


We dress C like a tramp…



Planning for a late holiday next year with lovely friends. Far too excited, already.


Salad-spinning boy


Super toasted sandwich, not-quite-as-super scotch egg. Also had a cookie that I am determined to recreate at home. When I do, I will share. Promise!


A friend and I went on a knitting course this weekend. It was intense but a perfect way to spend my first day away from C. Apparently this will be a sock…


It was Father’s Day on Sunday and we spent it with many lovely people. C bought Shake some delicious whisky and it even came in a special bag (with a card, too!)


A delicious way to end the day




Our everyday life: week 23

This week was the monthly Farmers’ Market in town, the weather (and ice cream ;) ) couldn’t have been better!


We all shared a freshly baked (not fried) scotch egg which was delicious. Note the sprinkle of mud added by C…


Amazing strawberries were very quickly gobbled up.


Felt a little like Jack Berger when I saw this on the pavement

20130607_142319 C and I spent lots of time in the garden this week…IMG_1499

…he LOVES to be outdoors


Spot the cat


Off to check on our strawberries…


I only managed to keep him entertained indoors by building a den (with the picnic blanket!)


Plenty of mud pies made this week


Found this book in the library and was so excited. Unfortunately pages 25 – 42 have been stolen!?


Checked out a new (to us) cafe and had takeaway lemon and poppy seed cake – super sweet but a real treat.


Lovely gifts from the sweetest friends (with the best taste!) The basil smells incredible.




Favourite posts this week


:: Food around the world (interactive quiz) – I have a lot to learn!

:: We attempted our first baked doughnuts a few weeks ago. I wasn’t that impressed. Next time it’ll be this recipe I use

:: My life in sourdough looks cute. Great name too

:: Famous lookalikes. Who has the time to figure these out??!!

:: Wish I was attending ravelry revelry this weekend

:: Rhubarb cream cheese hand pies. Picnic perfection!

:: Yesterday I walked around town looking for somewhere that sold gelato. I was on a mission. I didn’t find it, but was given a free iced coffee. Score! In future I’ll make my own, though

:: Strawberry inspiration

:: I love reading about how other people are feeding their little ones

:: Fun ideas for summer

:: Excited to read this book when it’s published – my pantry needs help!

Wishing you a merry weekend, ours will mostly be spent picnicking outdoors :)



Roasted rhubarb and ginger cakes


We are celebrating the first rhubarb in our fruit and veggie box this week!

Whilst I would happily eat it slightly stewed and definitely sharp, Shake needs it somewhat sweeter and hidden. C is yet to voice his rhubarb opinion ;)


These muffiny/cakey treats are a good compromise for us. Rhubarb is kept tart but complimented with fresh ginger and (I recommend!) ground cardamon.

After exploding butter in the microwave twice I never thought I’d get my act together. Instead, I went old school and melted the butter on the hob.

I like being old school.


If you don’t have/can’t find oat flour (like me), make your own! It takes two seconds with a blender and those oats are good for you :)


Roasted rhubarb and ginger cakes

Makes about 20 small cakes

Adapted (considerably) from a recipe in Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

90g Oat flour (I simply blended the oats, but left it a little chunky for texture)
75g plain flour
45g whole wheat flour
100g sugar (I used light brown)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2tsp ground cardamom (optional)

80g butter, melted and cooled slightly
170ml whole milk
120g (greek) yoghurt
1 egg

knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

125g roasted rhubarb (see below)

Roasted rhubarb:

Slice and dice rhubarb (about 3 stalks) into desired size.

Place in ovenproof dish and cover with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice and a couple of teaspoons of sugar.

Roast in oven at 180degC for about an hour. You want the rhubarb to keep its shape still but be soft.

Leave to cool before using in cakes.

To make cakes:

Preheat oven to 170degC

Blend oats, if necessary. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add back anything left in the sieve to the bowl.

In another bowl combine the wet ingredients, whisk briefly.

Add grated ginger to wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients and roasted rhubarb into dry ingredients bowl and gently stir to evenly combine.

Spoon mixture into cupcake cases (I use these) and fill about 3/4 of the way.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.




Our everyday life: week 22

My cousin spent two days with us which was wonderful. We are bag twins.


Unfortunately Master C didn’t take very good care of her phone!


To make it up to her I am sharing these flowers that she liked a few houses away from us ;)


Shake made Heidi’s sushi salad from this cookbook. Really tasty dressing!


Making the most of our National Trust membership. Sunday afternoon jazz throughout the summer. We took a picnic and ate a lot of ice cream!


C made a lot of mess. My silly idea for taking raspberries and cherry tomatoes!


Lovely flowers, lovely gardens, lovely day.


Roasting rhubarb. Recipe coming this week!


C has been waking up at 5am these past few days. This is how he looks by 7:30am. HELP!!