Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Around here

It's one month until Christmas and I now have a 16 year old does that happen.  We have put up the Christmas Tree and school has wrapped up for my senior and then another 2 weeks for the younger one.

On the weekend we had a family pizza party for James 16th birthday celebrations.  When we have lots of people we just use pita bread as the base instead of pizza dough as they are light and tasty and quick and easy. I set up a table with containers with ingredients in and everyone made their own and then we cooked 3 at a time in the gas pizza oven.  Love that thing.  We had corn, capsicum, pineapple, ham, salami, kabana, bocconcini and grated cheese and pizza sauce.

We had an ice cream cake and I made this for my Mum who is allergic to the chemicals in ice cream.

Home grown tomatoes.

The Christmas Tree is up.

Afternoon shadows.

Home made Swedish meatballs for dinner.

Cupcakes for afternoon tea using this super easy recipe with cream.

The sun was red from the fires.

Dinner outside.

Loving the fresh eggs every day.

Sourdough Rye bread home made.

Christmas photo 2019 - they are now so tall you can't even see the tree we are standing in front of.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Around here - Sourdough Bread Rolls

As I mentioned in this post my friend and I did a Sourdough Bread making workshop which was just wonderful. Today I made the bread rolls which started last night with the pre-dough.  Like most bread making, the actual making doesn't take very long when you add only the time you did something vs the proving time.

So the pre-dough is made the night before which is Bakers Flour, Warm Water and a tiny bit of Yeast which is mixed together and then placed in the container with the lid on - see the first picture.  This is left on the kitchen bench at room temperature overnight for 12 hours.

In the morning this was what it looked like which is called the "pre-dough".

The main dough is made up of Bakers Flour, Warm Water, the pre-dough mix in the above picture, sugar, salt, butter, dry yeast and sourdough starter from the fridge. I made the starter at our Sourdough Workshop and have fed it and made a new one the following week.  The feeding will be on a Sunday every week making a new starter with part of the old starter.

As this was a large quantity of ingredients I had to transfer everything from my Thermomix to the Mix Master using the dough hook to knead it.  You can do this by hand however I used the Mix Master.   This dough needs to go back into the container with the lid on and rest for 1 hour.

 This is the main dough back in the container which I then put the lid on and let it rest for 1 hour.

This is what it looked like after an hour.

Next weigh the dough into 93gms balls.

Roll the dough in your hand on the board round and round with your fingers cupped and you get these round shapes.  Cover with a tea towel and rest for 10 minutes.

This is the dough rested for 10 minutes.

The next step was to shape the balls into a dumpling like shape and place them seem side down on a tray and cover them up to prove for 30 minutes.  I used tea towels to keep their shape a little bit there is a proper material you can buy to do this however I just made do with what I had.

Turn the rolls over and place on a tray and using a razor blade make a slit in the top of the roll.  Spray with water and sift over the top a mixture of 50% rye flour and 50% cornflour. 

Place a ramekin with boiling water on the bottom of the oven and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes the first batch and remove from oven.  Then put in the second batch and remove from oven. Then you can place all the bread rolls directly onto the oven shelves for a further 4-5 minutes to brown up nicely.

Sourdough Bread rolls.

So happy with how these turned out.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Around here

In Australia the bush fires are still going strong and are dominating the news with good reason. The firemen and volunteers do an incredible job risking their own lives.   It's very hot in Brisbane today and I am not looking forward to the heat of December & January. 

This week my sister had her birthday so we had a lovely lunch to celebrate including a delicious birthday cheesecake.

One of my sisters makes this beautiful cheesecake so we were thrilled that she made it for the birthday girl.

Yummy prawns and rolls for my sister's birthday lunch.

Beans are so easy to grow from seed and the ones on the right are tomatoes.

 Tomatoes on the right are from seeds from Aldi tomatoes and the one next to it is from a packet of seeds.

We love this fresh salad, black beans, red and green capsicum, corn and Spanish onion.

Home grown lettuce.

My beautiful pots full of colour.

These beautiful flowers remind me of Christmas Trees and are so pretty.

Great to see a few tomatoes nearly ready for picking.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Around here - Sourdough Workshop

It has been devastating recently watching all the fires in Qld and NSW and they never seem to end.  We actually had one in our suburb that took over 2 hours to get under control last week.  I praise all the firemen and volunteers spending days and nights trying to protect properties for families and keep people safe.  Without rain I think these fires will continue to happen and then sadly if we do get rain it all comes at once and everything floods.   I remember last time 75% of Queensland was under flood and we have a big big State.  Mother Nature sure has a mind of her own at times.

Yesterday my friend Karin and I did our Sourdough Workshop class from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm and it was wonderful.  There were 7 of us in the class which was held in the couple's home kitchen. They are German and he has been baking since he was a teenager and loves making organic home made breads.

The first part of the class we all made our own starter using part of their 7 year old starter and then it was onto making the breads.  We made two loaves first, a Paderborner Country Bread and then a Country Bread with Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds which were then left to rise.  Next was the Rye Wheat Bread and Authentic German Bread Rolls.  The little bread rolls needed shaping with two methods so that was interesting.  The first shape was round and then we left them for another rise and then they were shaped a bit like a dumpling, and then another rise before going into the oven to be cooked.  

While one lot of bread was rising we started on the next and when that went into the oven the next one was rising.  It was busy day and so enjoyable.  We all got to have a go kneading the dough and shaping the bread rolls and I got to weigh and mix one of the breads as well.  It was so nice having the day out learning something new.  I'm not knew to bread making however sourdough starter and sourdough bread is something I wanted to learn properly.

It was a great day and we are so happy we booked in and had a whole day baking and meeting new people.  Here's a few photos from our day.

My new starter which I will have to think of a name for.

Weighing out the bread flour.

Wearing my beautiful dress that Karin made me for my clever.

The Paderborner Country Bread & Country Bread with Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds being sprayed with some water ready for the oven.

Fresh from the oven the Paderborner Country Bread & Country Bread with Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds

The Rye/Wheat Bread straight from the oven.

The German bread rolls on their second rise.

The German bread rolls straight from the oven...which were so nice.  These were sprayed with water and a mixture of half rye flour and half corn flour shifted over the top before they went into the oven.