Thursday, 15 March 2012

Quiche & Bread tips and reminders

I'm writing this post mainly to remind myself of some tips, but they may come in handy to you too!

A couple of days ago I was given some whipping cream and eggs to use up, so the first thing that sprang to mind was a quiche.  With some bacon in the fridge and an overload of frozen peas I went about Googling a suitable recipe.  I came across this rather nice Pea and Mint Waitrose version and make a few adaptions to suit my ingredients.

Now I have always baked blind with pastry bases before, so was a bit hesitant about putting the filling straight into a chilled case.  But it gave the nicest pastry we've had so far.  Pale in colouring, but crisp (not dry) melt in the mouth pastry.  Scrumptious.  The pastry recipe I tend to like to use is an Annie Bell one I got from a magazine recipe for a spinach, feta and tomato quiche.

225g plain flour
Pinch of salt
150g Unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 medium egg yolk

Blitz the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs, add the egg, then dribble in icy cold water a little at a time until it comes together into a ball.   Pop in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill, then follow the rest of the recipe as it.

Except..........  I used a 23cm quiche tin, used whipping cream rather than single cream and had only a tiny amount of mint.  It also only needed about 40 minutes as in a shallower tin.
One delicious quiche, firm and held its shape when you held a piece up.  Afraid it all got eaten before I could take a picture :)  Best allowed to cool to appreciate the flavours better.

Had another go at the Peanut Butter and Choc Chip cookies today.  The recipe has been updated to suggest using the oven at a 180c fan-oven setting.  This I duly did, but best using the middle shelf.  The tray on the top shelf browned far too quickly, so may be better cooking in two batches to avoid over-cooking.  They can't be that bad though as 3 have gone already!  Some packaged up to give as a Get Well pressie.  Ever get the impression where theres a camera, theres my cat!

Whilst having a poorly neck, I thought I would have a go using the Kenwood food processor's dough hook to make a batch of Sourdough, rather than kneading by hand.  Mental notes for next time, only use for a 500g batch, so did it in two go's this time.  Also better for a batch of bread mixing all the ingredients from the start, rather than using the sponge method, such as Sourdough.

Used the above basic recipe with but made a 1kg batch.  The sponge I used 1/2 wholemeal and 1/2 rye flour and white bread flour for the loaf.  600ml of water and no oil.  The rye gives it a nice rustic taste.  The bread still came out well, despite not being hand-kneaded, but it was a real guessing game to know when it was properly kneaded.  Kneading in a Kenwood should be quicker than by hand so you have to watch it all the time, still saved the neck some aggro.

Finally got around to plying the gorgeously bright Laalbear Blue-faced Leicester batt on my spinning wheel.  I think I will name it "Fire starter".  Destined for some chunky socks.......

A final last ramble, I have been delighted this Winter / Spring with the bird life in our town garden.  As well as the usual Blue tits, Robins, Sparrows and Blackbirds, we are getting regular visits from a family of Goldfinches and also Long-tail tits.  They really warm the soul.  The bulbs are poking through in the garden, the seeds are germinating in the propagator......... I think Spring has Sprung

Happy baking.........................

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