Category Archives: Random

Evaporation fridge

Sometimes you just don’t have room in your fridge for a huge bowl of dough, starter, leaven, whatever else you have over-bought which is festering in there.

There’s a temorary solution.  You become a smug scientist for the day. Holly Goodhead if you will.  “Recipe” wise, you will need:

plastic box with a tight lid which your bowl (or whatever) will fit into
double bed sheet
a clothes peg or similar

What you do:

Put your bowl, covered in cling film in the box.  Soak the bed sheet in the bath until its wet through.  Wrap the box with the bed sheet leaving a corner hanging out somewhere. Twist it up to make a wick-like end. Put on the clothes peg to stop it unravelling.

Put the sheet covered box in a windy place. A balcony, garden table, doesn’t matter as long as there is some wind passing over it.

Fill the bucket with water and stand it next to the box.  Stick the “wick” end in the bucket.  The wind causes evaporation of the water contained in the sheet, this “pulls” heat from the box and it cools. The bucket of water and the wick keeps the sheet wet.

Wallah*! You now have your own evaporation fridge, and are the envy of all your friends.  It’ll keep your dough cool even on hot days, as long as there is wind passing over it. The stronger the wind the cooler the box and its contents become.

* It’s voila of course. I just like Wallah.



I am awash with chillis. Drowning in them. Thai green ones, habaneros, serrano del sol, you name it, I have it.  Proper arse-blowers, fire creating bullets of loveliness, red balls of kerosene-exploding-in-your-face trauma.  Wonderful.

How to incorporate them into a bread recipe? Umm aah. Wizz them up with oil? Roast them and squish them into dough? Make small rolls containing a devilish surprise? Stuff them and wrap them with a chickpea flatbread?

So give me your ideas please.  If you’re a bored housewife (can I say that? Is it PC?), maybe I should say “stay at home mum”? No that’s dull. The porn industry doesnt make films and magazines called “bored stay at home mums” do they?  So bored or not, housewife or not, let’s have your ideas!

Best bread idea (ie the one I like) wins a jar of chilli chutney, sent presto pronto.   I’ll close it a week from today, ideas in the “leave a reply” section below please.

ETA – Made Als chilli pain au choc.  Nice but used too much cardamom (my fault entirely), and actually, it’s not going to use enough of the chilli mountain.  So am going to go with the Jesus idea of a curry bun, using a vegetable chilli and packing it into a naan-style chickpea bread.

So the Messiah gets the jar of arse blowing bullets of gloriousness.  Well done the lord.


Guinness and Parmesan rolls

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Have your partners and mates bowing down at your feet when they taste these stout beauties. The making of these couldn’t be simpler, but how impressed will people be when you said you knocked these up before lunch? They will … Continue reading


Don’t get all stressed about the flour you choose for your breadmaking. I prefer Shipton Mill or Doves farm, they’re the best on the market, particularly Shipton Mill, and their service is fantastic. I placed an order yesterday around lunchtime, and the package arrived this morning. fantastic!  You can use whatever brand you want of course, but if you really get into baking your own bread and ingredients are important to you, go for the best.

It’s quite hard in numerous parts of the UK to get decent flour – supermarkets tend to stock their own brand plus maintream ones like Allinson and Hovis etc. Some of the Allinson is ok, and they make several which are mixes of different flours, but a purist would mix their own to get the flavour they want. To me the main thing is to enjoy doing it, and most importantly, eating it.

“Speciality” flours are quite hard to get though. Rye in particular, and maize flour are difficult to find, but persevere! It’s not that long ago in years that it was possible to buy rye flour all over, but since the advent of supermarket bread, and the decline of the “true” baker (ie not a high street one which sells fatty sausage rolls etc), it’s not that easy. Keep looking though, because the results with using good flour can be amazing.




This gallery contains 4 photos.

Before we get to the recipe, there is something you need to know about this famous Italian number.  Tthe dough is a bugger to work with because it’s sticky. Hold on hold on, before you all flee to your bunkers, … Continue reading

Give your leaven a good seeing to

Some of you (most I hope) will  be baking this weekend, and your leaven will quite happily sit in the fridge waiting for its next use.  When you received it, you’ll have immediately refreshed it following the initial instructions.  It’ll probably be quite stiff as well, but fear not.  You can quite easily keep refreshing it every 7-10 days, it’ll be fine, but it’s a bit like giving your lover flowers every week. Nice, but gets dull, so try the following: Forget the flowers, and give your lover a crotchless leather jump suit.

100g room temp water
50g strong white
50g rye flour

Or if you want to be more adventurous, a strap-on or a session with Delta the dirty dominatrix

100g room temp water
50g spelt flour
50g strong white

The flour you use for the refreshment is up to you – initially I suggested using strong white, and this gives great results, but try something else. Just remember that whatever flour you use, it needs to have gluten, or it’ll die, like a neglected mouse who starts to eat its own feet. Don’t forget to post up comments! and send images if you can be arsed


Leaven update

I’ve posted 25 lots, and of those, I know at least 20 have forwarded on to others.  To enable easier management of the send requests, when you sent the email, please make in the subject line “leaven request” and if you give some to friends or family, please tell me so I can keep a track of the numbers, and ask them to do the same.

There is now an autoresponse on the email which outlines the position when you request it, and I’ve done that because, well, because I’m a lazy git a little busy at the moment to reply to each in turn.

Some of you will  be baking this weekend, so don’t forget to send your images and post  up your experiences on the comments page (gallery). Remember to post  under the name you want to be known as, then I can match the images to that name. If your name’s Jane, don’t post up a comment under “BurlsequeQueen” without telling me who you are, otherwise it’ll all start to go wrong.

Keep the requests coming, let’s get at least a hundred, you can do it you louche lot, you!

More recipes will be posted in due course when I have some more time, so keep looking

Leaven ideas

Keep in mind that your leaven is a living thing. It’s like a pet, it needs to be fed. But, exactly what you feed it is your choice; it doesn’t have to be white bread flour. If you want to increase the depth of flavour to change the taste and characteristics of your bread, feed it with rye flour, or wholegrain, or mixed grain, or with a malted flour of some kind – it’s totally up to you. Remember though that it needs to be flour which contains gluten, so whilst you could add say, some spelt flour, don’t make all your feed spelt, as it may not activate properly.

Once you have something that you prefer, just keep on feeding with that type of flour as normal, and over time the flavour will develop even more. In time, post up what you’re feeding it with and lets see how you’re doing. Pics would be great – if you struggle to upload them, send them to the leavensent email address and I’ll upload for you.