viernes, 31 de diciembre de 2010

Last bread of the year: halloumi and olives bread

I am down in Cork spending a few days with my friends Philippe and Gianmaria, who have hosted me in their house for new year . So I promised them to bake some bread for tonight dinner, new years eye dinner. I wanted to be safe so I chose the olives and garlic bread I made recently. One of the best breads I've ever baked. But there is another part of me that always want to try new things and be very creative (too much sometimes) so I normally change even my own recipes.

When I went to buy this morning the bread flour, I decide to buy as well some rye flour to give more flavour to the bread. Not a big risk. Then I went to the olive shop and my eyes went straight to some black moroccan olives, so I bought them instead the greek style ones. Not to bad so far. Finally, I remember that this cyprus bread is made as well with one of the most popular and famous food from this island: halloumi cheese. Why not? I though. So, I was literally paying for the cheese in the shop when just in front of me there was a nice tin of hazelnut oil and of course I couldn't resist the temptation of buying it and using it instead of olive oil. So the result was this:

700 g white wheat flour
100 g rye flour
2 tbs quick dry yeast
12 g salt
400 ml water
50 ml hazelnut oil
150 g moroccan black olives
100 g halloumi cheese
10 g fresh mint
1,5 tbs mince garlic paste

The dough was very difficult to knead, as it was very sticky and moist, even though you can see the water it's only 56%. I think the olives could added some water and the hazelnut oil made it sticky. So I had to knead and leave it rest a few times before I considered it was ready. Then two times of a hour and 15 min fermentation. The dough worked well and doubled it size both times. Here you can see it in the tray before putting in the oven:

I am using as Lidia the water in a tray in the oven instead of the spray: for me it's easier than open and close the oven a few times. 10 min with the tray with water at 240º C, then I took the tray and let the steam out of the oven, and another 35 min at 190º C. The bread didn't grown up a lot in the oven, but I think it was because it did it before. During the time it was in the oven, there was a lovely and strong smell in the house, mix of garlic, olives and hazelnuts. After that time, I left the bread inside of the oven off with the door open for a few minutes.

Dark color bread, not big alveolus but soft crumbs, I find the combination of all the flavors very interesting. Strong from the garlic (even a little bit spicy), salty from the halloumi and olives and refreshing from the mint. Looking forward to put something on the top or dip it in a sauce or just olive oil

I used only half of the halloumi cheese, so while making the bread, because it was lunch time and I was hungry, and I love this cheese, I sliced the rest and grilled, placed them on top of scottish oatcakes, herbs, tomatoes and olives. Halloumi is the perfect cheese to be grilled (maybe together with the argentinian provoleta) because it has a high melting point, and it is even better if you do it in a barbecue. It has a distinctive texture, similar to mozzarella and has a salty flavour.

An this the the bottle of the hazelnut oil:

Happy new year 2011

Today it's the last day of 2010, when this blog was born. I want to wish a happy new year to Lidia and Almudena, and to everybody who read us during the year. I am sure 2011 will be a better year, a annus miribilis, and it will brings more and better breads.

lunes, 27 de diciembre de 2010

Pan de castañas..., ¿o una castaña de pan?

Había pensado en hacer esta entrada en inglés, porque parece que nuestras aportaciones en esta lengua son más populares para la comunidad internacional, según el apartado de estadísticas de este blog. Pero he pensado también que con este pan en concreto no tenía mucho sentido. Primero, porque hice este pan como un regalo para un amigo que es de Carabanchel -aunque esto no tiene mucho que ver, su inglés es muy bueno- y usar otra cosa que no fuese español no tendría mucho sentido entre nosotros. Y segundo, porque no tengo la menor idea de cómo trasladar el juego de palabras del título a la lengua su muy británica majestad Isabel II. Vamos, que no estaba de dios.

No he recibido feedback del resultado, pero estoy segura de que es un pan de miga bastante densa y para tomar con moderación o con nada más, porque parte de la harina es integral y lleva muchos tropezones, de manera que no subió mucho durante el horneado. Por lo tanto, es indudable que el pan es de castañas, pero también pudiera ser que sea demasiado pesado o incomible. ¿Por qué lo cuento aquí entonces? Porque sigo entusiasmada con los resultados estéticos que da la bandeja con agua para crear vapor y porque hoy tengo la vena optimista (que ya tiene su cosa...). Mirad la foto y decid si no es bonito.

175 gr. de harina blanca de trigo
225 gr. de harina integral de trigo
235 gr. de agua
150 gr. de masa madre de trigo blanco
2 gr. de levadura seca de panadero
100 gr. de castañas, nueces y pasas (en total, pero sobre todo había castañas)
12 gr. de sal

Incluso si ha salido bien, no estará a la altura de su destinatario. Gracias, M.

sábado, 25 de diciembre de 2010

walnut and chestnut bread

Happy Christmas! Today I didn't work, as most of the people, and I have a really lazy day, not doing nothing, except for going for a walk, cook dinner and...bake a bread! And as Lidia but not on propose I baked as well a walnut and chestnut bread, although I think with no the same result. My bread didn't rise much and I think because I put to much walnuts and chestnut. Other thing that happened: the crust was to hard, the times were the same that I used before for this kind of bread but it looked that I overcooked it. Too crunchy. Anyway, the flavour was nice and I enjoyed the bread.

300 g sourghdough
375 g white flour
110 g water
10 g salt
60 g walnuts
60 g chestnuts

viernes, 24 de diciembre de 2010

blueberry scones

Freezing temperatures in Belfast (I am talking about minus 13). Very cold, although very beautiful at the same time. The snow from last week is still all around, not going anywhere, although became into ice. But it is white christmas.

So we these temperatures we can not really do much outside and we really want to be inside
with your heating on. And with a tea, and something with the tea. And what better than a nice and just baked scones.

I made these scones using buttermilk for the first time. I have to say that I liked what I got: powerful aroma, something between yogurt and cheese; the dough was quite moist and not easy to work with, but the result was very soft and tender scones. I add this time some blueberries. Gives a nice flavor but especially a wonderful color. Most of the blueberries break after baking and spread the blue color. You can eat them only with your eyes. Judge yourself.


450 g self rising white flour
100 g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
175 g butter
250 ml buttermilk
150 g fresh blueberries

I mixed the dry ingredients and the added the butter and mixed until the consistency was similar to breadcrumbs. Then I added the buttermilk and mixed well. you don't have to work the dough much but be sure that all the ingredients are mix well and the dough is even. I made eight scones with the dough, cut them with a glass, and brushed the top with buttermilk. Oven preheated at 220 degrees and baked for 17 minutes.

I couldn't help eating one. So put the kettle, made a nice tea and spread some butter on top of each half when they were still warm.

Just a perfect evening. Almudena, as you like scones so try this recipe or just add some berries to the recipe you already has.

lunes, 20 de diciembre de 2010


As I said in one of the comments to a Lidia's post, this week I felt to make some bread inspired in that beautiful and interesting part of the world, eastern mediterranean sea. I love this part of the world and especially the food, but also the beautiful landscapes, the history and the people. For that I need some mediterranean ingredients but as well some middle east ones. First ones, garlic, olive oil and olives, and for thesecond, mint.

I have lived and travelled many times to Greece. I can say it is one of my favorites places to go on holidays and to live, and I don't refuse the idea of living again there. This recipe has some of the basic ingredient of the greek cuisine, and it could be a greek bread, but this time I was inspired in another country: Cyprus.

I spent one month in Cyprus working there and it was a very good experience. Food is similar to greece but there is more influences of the middle east. the combination is superb.

This bread is called eliopsomi (lit. olives bread). There is a version called eliopita (lit. olives pita). But I wanted to make a load of bread, so I mixed a few recipes I had and add the basic ingredients for making a eliopsomi. And this was the result:

525 g super strong white flour
300 g water
1 tbs quick dry yeast
10 g salt
40 g olive oil
140 g black olives
1 tbs fresh mince garlic
4 g fresh chopped mint

I found last week in a delicatessen shop in belfast called Arcadia this super strong flour from Hovis. I never used a very strong flour (this one has 12.8 g of protein) and I want to know how much affect the result. By the way, in this shop sells sourdough baguettes, I tried one and I have to say I liked it. I meant to put more olives but I couldn't resist the temptation and ate a few of them.

10 minutes at 240 degrees with a tray with water, after that I took out the tray and the steam (and of course the kitchen fire alarm went on) and another 30 minutes at 200 degrees.

I have to say that this is probably one of the best breads I made or at least the one I liked more.
Very nice crust, very soft inside, olives, garlic and mint gave to the bread a nice aroma and flavor. I can't wait till the morning to put loads of things on top of it.

And yes, I used the oven as well to roast some chestnuts, i love them so i couldn't help putting them with the bread.
It might be a good idea to use a few left to make a bread with chestnuts. Any suggestions?

domingo, 12 de diciembre de 2010

Y aquí la tonta del pain a l'ancienne

Me gusta mucho hacer este pan porque te permite ser cool y un poco vaga al mismo tiempo. O sea, te da por hacer pan para mañana mismo y por tenerlo horneado y frío para la hora de comer, claro, pero no tienes la masa madre lista y con las fermentaciones largas que nuestro sacerdocio exige es, básicamente, imposible darte el capricho. Pues te haces un pain a l'ancienne. Refrescas la masa madre para tener la cantidad que te hace falta para la noche, mezclas los ingredientes y a la nevera. A la mañana siguiente, lo sacas del frigo cuando tú has salido de la cama, lo dejas atemperarse un poco mientras se calienta el horno, arrojas el engrudo sobre la bandeja como puedas y, si tu hora de levantarte no ha sido escandalosamente tardía, comes a mediodía con él en la mesa. Lo dicho, vaga y cool de un golpe.

¿A que son monas?
Esta receta es la misma que la que ya puse en esta entrada, con una ligera variación en la cantidad de agua: puse 280 en vez de 300 gr. porque buscaba un masa un poco más compacta con idea de poder formarla un poco. Y funcionó. Pero veréis en la foto que el resultado visual ha sido mucho mejor que otras veces y creo que ha sido por la forma de aplicar el vapor.

La semana pasada, en el Panforum, aproveché el encuentro con Bea, mi maestra en La cocina de Babette, para contarle mis problemillas con los greñados y el aspecto general final de mis panes, que saben ricos pero no lucen mucho estéticamente, la verdad. Bea me aconsejó crear vapor echando agua sobre una bandeja ya caliente que hubiera dejado en la parte baja del horno mientras se calentaba. De esta manera, se genera mucho más vapor que con el clásico frus-frus manual, lo tienes durante más tiempo no tienes que estar abriendo y cerrando el horno para vaporizar. Y el agua no cae directamente sobre la masa, cosa que, según había explicado Agustín Oliet en su taller sobre el vapor, parece que tampoco conviene.

Bueno, parece que la cosa ha salido bien. Las barras han quedado mucho más doradas e incluso se han abierto como si tuvieran greñado (cosa que no había). Me he quedado muy contenta con el resultado. ¡Gracias Bea!

sábado, 11 de diciembre de 2010

Lepard's lessons

Tenía pendiente contaros aquí algo de mi experiencia en el Panforum 2010 que se celebró la semana pasada en Madrid, un evento que reunió durante todo el día a algunas de las personas más representativas de este fenómeno de hacer pan artesano en casa en el que los que suscribimos estamos metidos.

Yo sólo pude asistir a los actos del programa que había por la tarde: conferencias sobre el porcentaje del panadero, la masa madre, el uso del vapor en el horneado y, ¡tachán tachán!, la intervención de Dan Lepard con motivo de la traducción al españo de su mítico The handmade loaf, que ha sido vertido a nuestra noble lengua por Iban Yarza (sí, Almudena, también estuvo él en persona).

Lepard, en plena explicación
La verdad es que a Lepard no se le puede negar que transmite entusiasmo por el pan y que lo hace de una manera muy sencilla y accesible. Teniendo en cuenta que allí había más de uno dispuesto a extender una alfombra bajo sus muy panaderos pies, fue muy cercano y amable.

Yendo a lo práctico, de las cosas que dijo me quedo con dos que me parecieron muy útiles, sobre todo por desmitificadoras. Muchos participantes preguntaron cuestiones relacionadas con las harinas, los porcentajes de proteína, el gluten, las características que tienen que reunir para que nos sirvan para hacer pan... Lepard fue muy clarito: no hay que agobiarse por eso. Si nos vamos doscientos años atrás, los panaderos no tenían la menor idea de cuál era el porcentaje de proteína que tenían las harinas que usaban, y sin embargo hacían un pan estupendo. Es más importante usar productos locales y que nos resulten próximos, así como respetar las tradiciones panaderas de cada lugar, que volverse loco buscando una harina con una determinada fuerza.

Otra cosa que a Juan le gustará mucho saber es que  sólo empleaba masa madre cuando era, según sus propias palabras, "joven y arrogante". Ahora también usa levadura fresca e incluso levadura seca, y así lo reflejan las recetas de sus libros.

En fin, una tarde interesante, en la que también conocí a personas a las que leemos en otros foros panaderos. Por cierto, el organizador, Javier Marca, de BAK, anunció que habrá Panforum el año que viene.

miércoles, 8 de diciembre de 2010

Toasted bread and marmite

Finally I had the bread for breakfast today even though the ulster fry was a strong temptation.

So I toasted two slices and made a tea. In one of the slices I spread butter and in the other marmite (yeast extract). I never tried it before but last week I saw a documentary in BBC where they tried to make home made yeast extract: basically they kill the yeast with salt (one thing that bread makers try to avoid religiously every time they make the dough) and to help the process they heat up the mix, so the result is a dark brown and very (very) salty sticky paste, with umami qualities. It is usually eaten as a savoury spread in bread and toasts or to give flavour to stews as a vegetarian alternative to beef extract.

It was delicious with the butter, and interesting with the marmite, as even very thin layer was enough to give a very strong and salty flavour to the bread.

martes, 7 de diciembre de 2010

Lilmu Bread

Finally a day off in Belfast after a couple of weeks. Very cold, all the city is cover in snow and ice, but it looks lovely. So I woke up early, had my bran flakes breakfast and hit the town. All morning and part of the afternoon doing some shopping and walking, what it means lot of money spent. But I enjoyed the day and I bought nice things, including some bread ingredients. And finally, after such a long time and missing it, I made some bread, first one in Belfast. Iunpacked my scale, the bowls and spray bottles and some flours I brought from Cork. The restof the ingredients I bought them locally.

I wanted to make a classic one, like my favorite pain a l'ancienne but as I had a creative day and after the last post of Lidia and Almudena, I decided to risk and be brave: loved the idea of apple and oaks bread, but at the same Almudena's cheddar cheese and mustard scones were very tempting, so, why not mix them both? And you have the result. I had to modify the recipe to make a bread, and as I didn't have to make some sourdough, I used dried yeast. Another modification was the mustard: instead of powder I bought yellow mustard seeds in Marks & Spencer. Here is the recipe:

50 g porridge oats
100 g boiling water
200 g irish apples
100 g water at 20 C
10 g dried yeast
350 g strong white flour
5 g salt
3 tsp yellow mustard seeds
50 g mild white cheddar cheese
some extra oaks for decoration

The process is the same Lidia used for her oats and apple bread. but I baked it for 15 min at 220 and then 25 at 190. the color outside was very dark I guess because of the cheese. And because all the ingredients, I think it didn't grow much but I am quite happy with the result: not big alveolus but very soft breadcrumbs, main flavour coming from the cheese but some sweatiness from the apple and a crunchy and very particular from the mustard seeds.

I tried it tonight but I want to see how is tomorrow morning forbreakfast, although it might have to wait as I
planned a ulster fry for tomorrow. looking forward to all that grease lol.
now let me know what you think about the combination but more important try to do it, maybe next time a little bit less of cheddar so we can appreciate more the flavour of the rest of the ingredients but despite of that the I think it is a nice bread.

lunes, 6 de diciembre de 2010

Pan de Manzana y Avena con ayuda de Lidia

Ha sido realmente difícil para mí manejar la masa, menos mal que Lidia me dio confianza y me ayudó a superar ese momento de pánico ...

¡Estoy muy, muy contenta!

Gracias, amiga.

La Tonta de los Scones

Ayer preparé una receta de Dan Lepard, scones con queso cheddar. Bueno, no exactamente porque en Nívar no pude encontrar English mustard (powder) ... pero aún así los scones nos han hecho inmensamente felices durante el ratito que duraron.

La receta dice así:

200 g plain flour (yo usé self rising)

2 tsp baking powder (que yo no puse)

2tsp English mustard powder (que en Nívar no había)

25 g soft butter

Small bunch of parsley (que yo lo guardo congelado)

175 g cheddar, coarsely grated

1 large egg, separated

50 ml cold double cream

25 g golden linseed or sunflower seeds (se me olvidó echarlas en el último momento, pero el próximo día no pienso fallar en eso)

Oven 200ºC en horno con ventilador.

A tener en cuenta, la masa es muy difícil de cortar. Incluso Dan Lepard en su receta dice que lo intentes cortar con un cortador, pero que si no puedes que lo cortes en cuadrados.

Ah, y en la masa se añade solo la clara del huevo, ya que la yema se usa para pintarlos antes de meterlos en el horno.

Si ya los habíais descubierto, perdonadme mi entusiasmo de principiante. Si no, hacéroslos esta semana, que están muy buenos.

Por cierto, Lidia, que mañana me pongo manos a la obra a ver qué soy capaz de hacer con la receta de tu última entrada.

Hasta pronto, queridos amigos.