Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chia Ciabatta

I used the River Cottage Recipe Book, and advice from The Sourdough Companion website on adding chia seeds which absorb 6 times their mass in water.
Soak 2 tbsp of chia in 12 tbsp warm water.
Add this paste to the ciabatta dough before forming into loaves.
This keeps the bread more moist, and fresher for longer.

Maple Toffee Bacon

This is amazing in caesar salad or...any salad.

I do it on the stove so I can watch it, make sure it doesn’t burn, and taste test as I go, of course.

Some people may choose to oven bake it.


Get whole strips of bacon, remove rind and cut it up into pieces.

Put in frypan, cook for a short period to render some fat, drain.

Add back to pan with enough maple syrup to coat bacon with a little extra to spare in the bottom of the pan, but not so its swimming.

Cook on low heat till it goes sticky. Approx 10-15mins. Remove from heat and put in a ceramic bowl to cool.

Optional: add extra maple syrup (swimming) and cook until it candies then spread out on a wooden board and fracture it into shards after its cooled. This makes harder pieces that can be added to salads and wont go soggy.

Scottish Oatcakes

Savory oatcakes (or bannocks) are quintessentially Scottish.
Perfect with some hearty cheese, smoked salmon, goats cheese & dill or chutney.


225g Scottish oatmeal
60g wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g butter or olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
60-80ml hot water
Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
Mix everythign together in a bowl except the water.
It should have the consistency of large bread crumbs.
Start adding the water until you have a thick dough.
The amount of water varies; depending on the oats.
Sprinkle some flour on a bench and roll out the dough to1/2cm thickness.
Use an upturned whisky glass to cut rounds.
Bake for appprox. 20-30mins. or until slightly golden brown.
I think these are nice with bananas or with honey, or almond butter :)

Baker Garden Family Dinner ~ Lasagne

We had a family dinner at my new house last week ~ my new housemates are Ingrid, Joe, Shaun, and Siobhan. We had vegetarian lasagne and salad. Joe had a genius idea of coating the entire tray in the 3 cheese mix before laying out the sheets and ingredients so it turns into a big cheese cookie lasagne. To do next time.

Vegetarian Lasagne


3 cups strong pasta flour
4 eggs
2 tbsp water
pinch of salt

1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 can tomatoes
1 jar tomato passata
1 glass of good shiraz
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
1 handful fresh torn basil

1/2 a pumpkin
1 large eggplant
2 red capsicum
2 green capsicum
2 zucchini
bag of mushrooms

3.5 cups milk
60g butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 cups of grated cheese (I used mozzarella, cheddar and colby)


Mix the pasta flour, eggs, water and salt together and knead for 5 minutes.
Cover in glad wrap and refridgerate.

Tomato sauce
Saute the onions and garlic.
Add the tomatoes and passata and simmer continuously while preparing everything else.

Cut all vegies into 1cm slices
Lay the pumpkin on a tray and cook in the oven at 200.
Heat olive oil in a pan and cook eggplant till browned, do the same for the other vegetables.

Bechamel Sauce
Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan and frying the flour in the butter for a couple of minutes. do not allow to brown. slowly pour in half a cup of milk and whisk rigorously, taking it off the heat if need be (if it is bubbling too much). Slowly add the rest of the milk in small 1/2 cup batches, always, always whisking.  finally, add a pinch of salt and the nutmeg. set aside.

Find a cool dude and a lovely lady to help make the lasagne!
Use a pasta roller to roll out sheets of lasagne pasta
Lay a bed of tomato sauce on the bottom of a deep oven tray. (you could use cheese instead!)
Have fun placing layers of vegies with red or white sauce alternating with the pasta sheets.
Throw some random things in there. A cinnamon stick is a nice surprise treasure.
Finish with the white sauce and a layer of cheese!

Bake for 30 minutes at 200 then serve with a crunchy zesty salad

Im so happy to have found such nice people to live with, this was a nice family dinner to start getting to know each other :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Salmon Jerky and Salmon Candy

I needed to dehydrate some protien for a long bushwalking trip I am doing in tassie and I have always wanted to do Salmon Jerky. So, I called Warren - from Warren's Fresh Seafood - and asked him to cut me some nice big fresh side fillets of Atlantic Salmon and to keep them from the hordes at EPIC markets in Canberra until I could pick them up. Warren - thankyou! The Salmon was excellent and firm for drying. 

recipe adapted from Alaska From Scratch - an awesome website.


Soy-Lemon Pepper Salmon Jerky
2 large side side fillets of salmon, skin and pin bones removed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp mollasses (or thick brown sugar paste
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Maple candy Salmon Jerky
2 large side side fillets of salmon, skin and pin bones removed
4 Tbsp flaky sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp thick brown sugar paste


Place salmon fillets in freezer for 30 minutes (this makes them easier to slice).
Meanwhile, mix marinades in two bowls that will fit the salmon. 

Remove salmon from the freezer and slice the salmon in 1cm thick slices. 

Place the salmon in the marinade bowls and refrigerate 3-4 hours.

Strain salmon well in colander and dry on paper towels. Lay salmon slices on dehydrator trays in rows, making sure pieces are not touching.

Place trays in dehydrator at 63 degrees C (HIGH on an Ezidri dehydrator) for 3-4 hours. Salmon jerky is done when salmon is dry and chewy, but not crunchy.
Pastor Alaska and Andy the Intern from Alaska From Scratch enjoy their Salmon Jerky with a side of honey mustard dipping sauce. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pryaniki ~ Russian Gingerbread

 Just reading my friends Tim and Chris's book, 'Off The Rails', where he ate these as a staple snack while cycling across Russia. He seemed to love them so much so I wanted to try them on a bushwalk!


3 eggs
40 g unsalted butter, melted
265 g (¾ cup) honey
450 g (3 cups) plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
melted dark chocolate, to serve

I have read that listening to Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky during the original preparing of the dough may be beneficial to your mood, especially if you have reached the pulverizing of the almonds during the Dance of the Adolescents!


Separate 2 eggs and reserve 1 egg white. (Discard the other egg white or use it for another recipe.) Whisk the 2 egg yolks in a bowl with butter, honey and remaining egg. Sift flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl and combine. Make a well in the centre, add egg mixture and gradually combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Using damp hands, shape tablespoonfuls of mixture into 24 balls and place on the trays. Flatten them slightly and bake, swapping the trays halfway, for 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make meringue, whisk reserved egg white with sugar to soft peaks, then spread 1 tsp meringue mixture over each biscuit. Drizzle with chocolate and allow to set before serving.

Drink tea from a samovar will complement these sweet treats, as will traditional Russian sbiten, a hot drink made with honey, spices, jam and water or red wine

- recipe from SBS food and advice from my friend Irina Gomanyuk

I put dates in the middle.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

24hr Roast Pumpkin Bread

1kg strong white bread flour
10g powdered dried yeast
25g sea salt
800ml warm water
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for the folding process.
500g pumpkin chopped into 10cmx3cm pieces cooked at 80 C for 24 hours.


Mix the flour yeast and water together.
Use your hands, a huge bowl, or a dough hook in an electric mixer.
This dough is very wet (~80% water) so it is best to use a dough hook to keep folding over the gluten strands to make a silky dough that can be handled.

If using a dough hook:
Mix for 5 minutes then let rest for 5 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax a bit.
Add olive oil and salt then mix for a further 5 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Mix for a final 5 minutes.
Cover the bowl.

If using your hands: get a really big amazing bowl!

Follow the instructions above, and refer to this page for more detail on kneading techniques.

Place the dough into the fridge for 5-7 hours. This allows lactic acid bacteria to produce sour by products and makes the yeast dormant.

Remove from fridge an hour before baking. Fold the dough (it will have risen  in the fridge) then put in a new container and place in a warm spot to warm up. If it’s a clod day, place in a big bowl and sit the bowl in a sink of warm water. Keep covered.

Once the dough has doubled in size and you can see big air pockets forming, remove and knead in the pumpkin after chopping it into smaller pieces.


Dust the bench with semolina flour.

Form into baguettes or other rolls and place on oven tray. Cover with plastic bags to allow another final rise/prove. Preheat the oven to full.


Once the dough springs back when touched lightly, it is ready to bake. Brush with milk and sprinkle seeds of your choice.

Place in the oven and spray with a water bottle to create steam. Or, throw some icecubes in the bottom of the oven.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Thanks so much Bretto for helping me and providing the most important ingredient - roasted pumpkin!