I spent yesterday in the capable hands of Yoke Mardewi, making sourdough pastries. It was an amazing class, partly because I learnt so many new skills that it would be really hard to teach yourself at home.
We made croissants, almond croissants, pain au chocolat, escargot and tarte tartin. I came home with a big block of croissant pastry that I'm going to bake (in various forms) today. Results to follow...
If you're in Perth and are a keen baker, I can't recommend Yoke's book or classes highly enough. She is an amazing teacher, and is so generous with her time and resources. I'm going to miss visiting her a lot when we leave for London.
Yesterday I made bagels. It's just a shame that Dan wasn't here to give them his seal of approval.
I used Nigella's recipe, from How to be a Domestic Goddess. Here is my (slightly adapted) version:
Makes 15 bagels
1kg strong white flour
7g easy-blend yeast
2tbsp caster sugar
1tbsp vegetable oil
500ml warm water
2tbsp malt, or caster sugar
Combine all dry (except last 2tbsp malt or sugar) ingredients together. Combine wet ingredients together. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Mix well with a spatula.
Knead for ten minutes by hand or with a food mixer fitted with a dough hook. The dough should be dry, but smooth and elastic, when you've finished. Put in a lightly oiled bowl to rise for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 15 pieces each weighing 100g. Roll each portion into a sausage, then into a ring. Seal the ends by overlapping them a little and pinching them together. Lay the bagels on trays lined with baking paper, well spaced apart, to rise. Cover with tea towels.
Put a large pan of water onto the heat. When it boils, add the malt or sugar. Preheat the oven to 240C.
When the water is boiling and the bagels are puffy, add them to the water two or three at a time. After 30 seconds flip them over, and take them out after a minute. Put them back on the baking sheets, and repeat with all the bagels.
When you've poached them all, put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they're shiny and golden brown.
Yesterday I tried Orgran's alternative grain bread mix, with pretty pleasing results. It was ridiculously easy, and so nice to be able to eat bread hot from the oven. The standard loaf is pretty boring, so next time I'd add a bit of salt, and some nuts/seeds/dried fruit. Overall much more satisfying than buying supermarket GF loaves.
This morning I got up at the crack of dawn to do the 2XU Women's Triathlon. Despite two people swimming over me (apparently this is pretty standard triathlon behaviour), I am still here to tell the tale.
On Friday night we saw a Trust, a modern dance interpretation of the Global Financial Crisis, in German. And yes, it was every bit as dreadful as it sounds.
Luckily the weekend improved dramatically after that. Firstly, it turns out that the chances of getting eaten alive by sharks is dramatically lower if you don't even get in the tank, which is funny. On Saturday evening we had a BBQ by the beach with some pals, and Smitten Kitchen's cauliflower tart.
Today I made a black & white cake, and thrashed Conor at Scrabble (for the second time ever in my life).
Summer in Perth is pretty idyllic. Last night was spent curled up on a beanbag eating sausage sandwiches at the King's Park outdoor cinema. Today I got up at dawn and made a lot of cakes.
Coconut meringue cake
Pistachio & rosewater meringues
This week has been busy.
The triathlon that I signed up to in a moment of madness is only two weeks away, so I'm running and cycling round lakes like there's no tomorrow (sort of). I turned a year older, an amazing friend gave me a bottle of wine with my name on it. Last night we saw a great concert, and watched some pretty exciting dancing. And I made some individual caramel macadamia cheesecakes.
Next weekend I'm going swimming with sharks.
Lake Monger, which is was deceptively windy.
Birthday packages from far away
The aforementioned wine
Caribou & Four Tet at Beck's Music Box