Classic sourdough

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After the success of managing to get a sourdough starter going – it was time to put it to test! We are big fans of sourdough bread in the Little Birdie household and after the semi-success of my last two loaves of bread this had a lot to live up to! Luckily it was a relative success. My only disappointment was that I didn’t slash the top before cooking so it looked a little boring. This is a Paul Hollywood recipe from the BBC website. I do have the Paul Hollywood ‘How To Bake’ book and was going to try a recipe from there but wasn’t sure how much starter I had so opted for this recipe to make just one loaf. You will need 250g of sourdough starter.
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Sourdough starter

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Last year I spotted this recipe for blackberry sourdough scones. I never got round to making them, but at the time I investigated what was needed for a sourdough starter as both myself and Mr Birdie enjoy eating sourdough bread. I’m also keen to try Paul Hollywood’s raspberry and white chocolate bread which needs sourdough starter as part of the recipe. I decided that it was time to give it a go. If you look on the Internet there are lots of recipes for different starters using all sorts of different things like grapes and apples. I opted for this recipe from the BBC as it looked fairly simple. I have to say on day 5 I was worried that nothing was going to happen as my mixture looked like it wasn’t going to do anything but I persevered and as if by magic I was suddenly rewarded with a bubbling mixture. I’ve used it to make a classic sourdough and it worked so I must have done something right. It’s now sat it my fridge and I’m feeding it every five days. I plan to try out a few more sourdough recipes over the next few weeks.
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Easy seed & grain loaf

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After my bread making success last weekend I decided to give bread another go. I’d seen this recipe on the BBC Good Food website and decided as I still had some wholegrain flour that needed using up I would give it a go. I slightly adapted the recipe by choosing to prove it overnight in the fridge rather than the 1 hour at room temperature as suggested. I have to say I was little disappointed as although my bread did rise quite a bit the end result was a little flat and the bread had quite a heavy texture – it does still taste nice though. I think this may be down to my loaf tin which is quite wide and flat so a new loaf tin is on my shopping list for the weekend! I also struggled to get the seeds added as decoration at the end to stay on and most of the them have popped off when I have cut the bread – this is also a problem I found when I made my cottage loaf last weekend.
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Seed & grain cottage loaf

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I entered the Great British Bake Off this year – sadly I never heard anything (although after seeing some of the challenges they’re facing this year this is probably a good thing!). When you enter you have to fill in quite an extensive form which asks you about all the different things you’ve made and any successes and failures. One thing it did highlight to me was the areas of baking I’m less experienced in – baking bread being one of them. In this months BBC Good Food magazine there is a feature all about baking bread which is very helpful and highlights all the benefits of making your own bread such as cost, it not being full of preservatives and most importantly taste! This recipe is from the feature. I’ve made a couple of bread-based things before but I’ve decided I definitely need to try out more bread recipes. I’ve currently got a sourdough starter bubbling away which will I’ll share in a future post.
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Bagels…

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I’m normally a ‘sweet’ baker. My husband likes to tease me that if I ever went on ‘The Great British Bake Off’ I would only bake cupcakes. For the bread week I would bake cupcake bread, for biscuit week cupcake biscuits and so on… Well, I was out to prove him wrong!

I have a subscription to Olive magazine (courtesy of Mr Tesco and his clubcard points). I’m not normally a big fan of their recipes as they normally involve lots of ingredients we never have. However, my eye was caught by a step-by-step bagel recipe in the February 2013 edition. Sadly I can’t find the recipe online however there is a very similar one here…http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1088/bagels-for-brunch

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