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  • Pain Façon Beaucaire – Making french bread with only 4 basic ingredients

    Pain Façon Beaucaire – Making french bread with only 4 basic ingredients

    Carrying on from my previous post, my fascination with homemade bread continues. I am currently in my second week of of nurturing a sourdough starter and it is bubbling away beautifully. I am too impatient to wait to the third week to make bread again so I pulled out this recipe from Richard Bertinet’s book, Dough. This is a fabulous book for novice bread makers like myself. The book concentrates on technique and timing. There are some great informative step-by-step pictures and includes an in-depth 30 minute DVD. The book uses fresh yeast, I was unlucky on my last visit to the local deli, they had run out of fresh yeast and were not getting a delivery until the following week. With some advice from a friend on twitter I substituted it with instant dried yeast. The result was glorious. This gorgeous bread was made with only 4 ingredients. It created a wonderfully chewy, soft, light as air crumb and the crust is thin and delicate, reminiscent of ciabatta. The whole process didn’t take more than 2 hours. All of the hard work was in the first 30 minutes and the rest of the time the dough was rising in my microwave. The unusual thing about this bread is its shape. The slit in the middle is deliberate and makes

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  • Strawberry Shortbread

    Strawberry Shortbread

    There are many ways one can show that they care. You can shower your loved one with hugs and kisses, send a lovely bunch of flowers or splash money around like it grows on trees. I can think of nothing more loving than to nurture a batter from mixer to oven and watch it turn to golden magic and then carefully decorate it. It brings me supreme joy. It also exists in the little things. The small gestures. It makes me happy to make my partner his morning coffee, pick up the mail or iron his shirts. He shows his love by taking out the trash, doing the laundry and cleaning the dishes. One day he was having a hard time at work and I didn’t know how to comfort him. It wasn’t enough for me to give him a big hug and a gentle pat on the head. I wasn’t brought up to show my love with grand gestures. So, I put the oven on and started to make his favourite shortbread. Whilst I was putting together the recipe I remembered he loved dried strawberries, so I tipped a small handful of them into the dough… only because I care. These brought a smile to his face and helped wipe away the stresses of the day. I also made

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