Breads, jams, coffee & cakes. Busy, busy at the weekend, but it’s all voluntarily done and happily shared!
Here’s a little compilation of some of our recent weekend projects involving lots of dough making, coffee roasting and also a dollop of marmalade. Our weekends are for the most part filled with bread making and baking, the marmalade making was done in the evenings, because this process also spans two days.
Ed is currently reading the Tartine Bread book and was inspired to try a new shaping technique and it seems to get the thumbs up at the moment.
We also started drying apples for our apple cider bread project. It is such fun, I immediately want to incorporate it in all our baking and also pondering what other fruits can be dried successfully. Same with the marmalade, I have already used it in a banana cake, bread pudding and as a glaze.
We made 3 batches of Seville orange marmalade. We started with our usual recipe that makes for a dark caramelized marmalade. Then we decided to send a jar to the marmalade awards in the UK and made another lighter batch. For the third batch we bravely cooked it shorter to get a more runny consistency.
We found that it takes a bit of bravery and courage to stop the cooking process when you think the marmalade has not yet reached a thick enough consistency. With our third batch we were worried if it wouldn’t set properly but it turned out very slightly runny, just as we hoped.
All three batches look different but taste great and are enthusiastically received by marmalade lovers and people who didn’t know they were yet. Definitely going to make more next year and who knows send a jar to the UK again.
March 2012 update We won a bronze medal at the Marmalade Awards. Very pleased with this result!
Last year we, together with 1100 other participants, send a jar of marmalade to the Marmalade Awards in the UK. We got a merit report in the Seville orange category so we were tempted to honor the invitation we got this year and try again and do even better! We already made one batch and it turned out velvety and with a nice citrus flavor. We are making a second batch, slightly different from the first. Both batches are a combination of several recipes and our own new insights into the marmalade making process. The first day being the same as described below, the second day involves a fairly short cooking cycle with less water. We use organic Sevilles and also organic sugar. The organic sugar gives of a bit of caramel color during cooking because it is not pure white like regular caster sugar.
We roast our own coffee and are always trying out new beans from different countries and plantations. A coffee lover contacted us via twitter and very kindly send us some green beans to try. Lovely pea berries from Ethiopia, which were great in the Chemex coffeemaker and also beans from Rwanda and Brazil. It’s great to always have fresh coffee at hand. We do not drink that much coffee, but when we do we make sure we enjoy the brewing and the drinking.
We are currently busy trying to perfect an apple cider bread. We love bread, adore apples and recently the taste of cider has been growing on us. We had a visit from a Dutch cider vendor called Pomme D’or and he told us a lot about cider from Normandy.
We tasted different ciders, both unfiltered and unpasteurized, and also a very lovely peary but not too sweet poiré. We have bought two types of cider, one fruity and one more earthy and we are going to test which one suits our bread best.
Everybody loves an ear on a baguette
Ed has now tried his new Tartine inspired shaping technique a few times and the dough holds shape beautifully. The oven rise was also quite impressive.
Even though it still is a bit of a hassle to fit the baguettes in the 45 cm long Rofco oven, and stop the shaping before they get too long, they come out looking ‘the business’ and are very much appreciated by our bread friends.
We also made limoncello with primo fiori lemons from Sicily. Our first attempt we started in December and was thoroughly tested this month. We both smiled when we tasted it, the intense lemon flavor of the chilled limoncello is here to stay. Already more in the making!
Last ‘feat’ of this month was the attention our little bakery got in the Dutch version of Delicious magazine followed by a rather large article in a Dutch newspaper. Our sourdough mini boule even ended up on the front page.
We want to thank everybody for their enthusiastic reactions and comments on the article. And especially our favorite foodtrends watcher Marjan Ippel of Talkinfood for caring for little ‘grafters’ like ourselves and understanding our purpose and passions. On with the baking!