Inverted Dutch Oven Bread

Loaf of bread with scored openings

A while ago I published an article for home-baked crusty artisan bread. The loaves produced since have been consistently great, yet I aspired to have better fissures, as well as rise. However scoring the dough was proving quite tricky.

I recently found the ideal solution … I just needed to turn things, literally, upside down …

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Crusty Artisan Bread

Crusty artisan loaf cut and ready to eat

I’ve been successfully baking bread for some time using a minimal knead method. However I recently switched to an even better way of bread making that produces a tastier loaf with a looser crumb and wonderful crust … and also looks fantastic. The trick? A casserole dish.

Up your home bread making with this simple recipe for delicious, crusty artisan bread.

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Over The Top Smoked Chili

Over the top smoked chili with sour cream, cheese, coriander and tortilla chips

Every once in a while, an inspirational idea comes along that both simple and ingenious. Thus was the case with Over the Top Smoked Chili, conceived by Dawn and Johnny Barnes back in 2016. Once tasted, you’ll probably never go back to normal chili again. We haven’t.

Find out how to make a truly game changing dish with this simple technique.
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Cooking Food To Temperature

Cooking chicken thighs to perfection with a temperature probe

During the first year of this blog, I picked up many valuable culinary tips, tricks and techniques from a plethora sources, both digital and real world. This led to significant improvements in our approach to home cooking.

The change that had the biggest positive impact was to cook food to temperature (rather than elapsed, fixed time). This has drastically transformed the quality of our entire home dining experience, as well as being a new avenue of “food adventure” to immerse myself in.
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Experiences With Sous Vide Cooking

Preparing to sous vide two ribeye steaks

I enjoy experimenting with kitchen gadgets. For Christmas, I was gifted a “Sous Vide Supreme” to add to the culinary arsenal. After a few sous vide meals, it’s clear this was a perfect present. Meat is moist and evenly cooked throughout. Vegetables taste fresh and vibrant. Every time.

Find out about sous vide cooking and what I’ve been doing with it in this blog post.

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Making Fresh Bread On A Work Day

Freshly baked bread with crumbly cheese and tasty bresaola

A friend at work mentioned that he liked bread made using the minimal knead technique. However with work and children (and cats), it took too long on a work night, and the bread was not ready for their dinner time.

I altered the recipe so that dough is prepped before work and baked fresh in the evening. Or prepped in the evening for fresh bread with breakfast.
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Oven-Baked Ham and Mushroom Pizza

Oven-baked ham and mushroom pizza

I still remember the warm summer’s day when I first baked a home-made pizza. It tasted fantastic, fresh flavours and a crisp thin-crust base, served with both a glass of wine and a sweet sense of victory. And the desire to make many more. Which I did.

This post covers the basics with a ham and mushroom pizza using home-made dough. From this foundation, it’s easy to make most pizzas.
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Kick-Start Your Bread with a Pizza Stone

A loaf with loose crumb from using a pizza stone

Bread with a looser crumb (holes in the bread structure) looks good, tastes great and is the goal of many artisan bakers. I have learned that using a pre-heated baking stone (in my case a pizza stone) to kick-start the rise, or oven spring, is an important factor in achieving such hole-i-ness. Continue reading “Kick-Start Your Bread with a Pizza Stone”

Minimal Kneading – A Basis for Great Bread

Two small loaves baked with minimal kneading

Most bread recipes in this blog, such as for the the loaves above, use a minimal knead method. In this post we explore how and why this works …
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Easy Home-Baked Bloomer Loaf

A freshly cut home-baked bloomer loaf, ready to eat

One of my favourite aromas is that of freshly baked bread, even beating a good red wine. And it’s easy to make a crusty, tasty loaf at home with virtually no effort.

Impress your family and friends alike by baking your very own home-baked bloomer loaf.

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“Which Flour Do I Choose?”

Which flour to choose to make bread?

Walk into any supermarket and head to the baking section. Once there, you will almost certainly be greeted with a bewildering selection of flours to choose from … supermarket brands, named brands, white, wholemeal, brown, organic, rye, seeded, pizza, the list goes on.

There will also be flours which, whilst they can be used to make bread, generally produce loaves that are inferior to those made with proper bread flour. These include plain (or all-purpose), self-raising and sponge.

So to make a loaf bread, which flour do you choose?
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Be a Fan of Non-Fan … Ovens

Bloomer loaf baked with an even rise

In the previous two posts I described the importance of scoring the dough and introducing moisture into the oven in baking bread. Yet even with these measures in place, the loaf can still split or rise in a lopsided manner. In this post, we look at the potential culprit … the oven itself.
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