Smoke Your Own Cheese

Cold smoking a selection of cheeses

A local supermarket used to sell one of my favourite cheeses, oak-smoked Wensleydale. It was utterly delicious, and a regular purchase. Then one day it disappeared from the cheese counter, and a response from their HQ confirmed it was no longer stocked. Sad face.

But they continued to sell normal Wensleydale. And I do have a smoking device …

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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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Umami Smash Burgers

Umami smash burger served with fresh asparagus and chips

Burgers cooking on the BBQ are ubiquitous with warm, sunny summer days. Yet they can quickly become repetitive and ordinary. How to make them … well, less ordinary?

Through chance experiment we discovered that chestnut mushrooms, Dizzy Pig Red Eye Express rub and a little butter combine to exhibit an umami-like taste. Very left field and unexpected. So we used those ingredients in crafting some truly outstanding smash burgers.

Make these distinctive, delicious and very different burgers yourself with this simple recipe.

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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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Enhancing Flavours With Cold Smoking

Heritage (heirloom) tomatoes prepared for cold smoking

Smoked cheeses, vegetables and nuts can add extra nuance and flavour to a meal. And it doesn’t need a large, dedicated piece of equipment. It’s surprisingly easy to do with a Big Green Egg, standard covered BBQ or similar device.

Find out how to do cold smoking with a low-cost smoke generator. And a paint can.

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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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