Posts Tagged ‘Dan Lepard’

I’ve been baking bread…

…most recently, five loaves of sourdough spelt. My breadbaking schedule tends to be dictated by my sourdough starter – when it’s frothy and ripe, I’ll  often mix up a batch of dough, even if it wasn’t planned.  I purchased organic Canadian spelt (we didn’t grow any in Australia last year) from Santos Trading, and it was beautifully responsive…

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This yeasted multigrain loaf was my contribution to the Mellow Bakers’ August bake-along – it’s based on a recipe from Jeffery Hamelman’s Bread

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Finally, I just couldn’t resist this peanut-peanut butter-tahini-cumin-chipotle loaf featured in Dan Lepard’s Guardian column. I substituted an eighth of a teaspoon of chipotle powder for the roasted chillis, as I didn’t have any of the latter on hand.  It was delicious with nasturtium pesto and cheese!

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I have a bit of a crush on Dan Lepard.

Apart from being a really nice guy, he’s also incredibly innovative – rare in a profession that’s thousands of years old, particularly one in which the base ingredients don’t vary much. Dan’s recipes are always different and interesting, involving unusual ingredients and methodology that I’ve never tried before. I’m sure I can feel new synapses forming  in my brain every time I bake one of them.

This particular recipe is a good example: I’ve never used soaked semolina before, I’ve never shaped buns in this way, and I would never have thought to add yoghurt and honey to the dough.

A recommendation to my  breadbaking buddies – bake these as soon as possible!  They’re easy, quick and truly delicious.  My breads are usually chewy, hard crusted sourdoughs, so these made a nice change and the boys devoured them in record time.  The photos here are of my second batch – baked this morning at Pete’s request.

The recipe is here, and there are additional photos on Joanna’s blog as well.

Some construction pointers:

1. The dough is shaped into a rectangle (I used my fingers rather than a rolling pin) and then cut into eighths, but not separated, so the finished buns look like the photo below.

2. Dan provided me with a little more detail about the scoring process (albeit after the buns you see here were baked):

Liberally sprinkle the semolina over the top then press lines in the dough right down to the base, using a downward motion then pull the knife straight back up again. These lines should be very heavily indented in the dough, as if you are embossing it with the knife.

3. I baked these at a lower temperature and for less time than specified – 210C with fan for 15 minutes, although I suspect my oven might be running a bit hot at the moment.

Dan talks about serving these with barbecued pork belly, but they’re also absolutely to-die-for perfect with peanut butter…

We ate them with Jamie Oliver Botham burgers for dinner – fantastic fare for a cold winter’s night!

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Other Dan Lepard recipes:

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Olive Bialy

I was inspired to try Dan Lepard’s black olive bialy recipe by the gorgeous Sally at Bewitching Kitchen.

Mine turned out a little chubby, but so delicious.  A cousin of the bagel, but much easier to make, the bialies were chewy and flavoursome, and attained a surprising amount of rise from just half a teaspoon of dried yeast and minimal kneading.

Dan’s recipe specifies Kalamata olives – make sure you use the full amount of pitted olives in oil, as they contribute to the liquid content of the dough.  I had Sicilian green olives as well, so I used a mix of both.  It’s a very easy recipe, and a  great combination of flavours, with the olives and dough well matched to the onion and poppy seed topping.

The instructions are here, and I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did.  It’s always a good day when you can take a batch of bread out of the oven before 8am!

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During the holidays, Pete and I didn’t get to our local produce markets, so when we finally made it there, I got a little carried away at the egg stall.  Normally I’d buy a tray of 30 free-range eggs (for an outrageously cheap $6) – enough to tide us over for a fortnight – and occasionally I’ll splurge on some duck eggs for baking.

Last week I bought a standard tray and a dozen duck eggs, forgetting that I had a carton at home that I’d purchased – reluctantly – from the supermarket to see us through the festive season.  Then our wonderful egg man decided to give me an extra tray of tiny eggs as a New Year’s gift.  And all of a sudden, I had eighty-four eggs in the fridge, and there weren’t any fruit cakes or Christmas presents left to be baked!

Of course, the market eggs are always super-fresh, which means they’ll be fine for at least a month in the fridge.  But it’s still a lot of eggs, so here’s what I’ve been doing to reduce the glut.

I thought about making some lemon curd, but we’ve got so much jars of jam open in the fridge at the moment that we might not get to it.

Instead, I baked Dan Lepard’s Chocolate Brandy Layer Cake, following his instructions here.  I omitted the hazelnuts, since there weren’t any in the pantry.  We ended up with an excess of custard frosting, which I thinned with a little milk and then churned into hazelnut chocolate icecream. Five eggs down…

I made two batches of shortbread cookie freezer dough, which needed six egg yolks, and turned the whites into meringues (half of which went into the freezer as well)…

Joanna’s kugelhopf recipe used up a further four eggs…and turning the leftovers into bread and butter pudding should account for another five!

Lastly, I made scotched egg meatloaf – four baby boiled eggs in the middle, and one egg as binder.  It’s topped with roasted tomato passata and slices of dry cured pancetta.

I’d be grateful for any other suggestions….I’ve been thinking about making pickled eggs, but I’m not sure the boys will eat them!

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Dan the Man (aka Dan Lepard) created this recipe for bay custard tarts several months ago, and I’ve been wanting to try it ever since.  Today was the perfect opportunity – I had leftover shortcrust pastry (June’s recipe) in the fridge, and an abundance of eggs.

The tarts are very moreish, and a little too easy to eat!

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