Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Calculated Cooking

Freezing Bread Dough
Making bread may not be everyone's choice, but a packet of bread mix can prove (excuse the pun) to be quite useful, some of the dough could be used to make pitta bases, which can be frozen, or why not use some or all of the dough to make bread rolls and freeze them to bake later. They just need thawing out and leaving to rise. Alternatively, part-bake them by placing shaped and risen bread rolls in a hot oven 230c, 450F, gas 8 for five minutes, then reduce heat to 150C, 300F, gas 2 and continue baking for a further 10 minutes until the rolls are firm. Cool, bag up - removing as much air as possible without squashing the bread - and freeze for up to four months. To use, bake from frozen at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 20 minutes.

This recipe is a version of 'malt loaf', having the flavour but not quite so dense, and no yeast needed. The malt flavour comes from using a malted drink, such as Ovaltine (my favourite) or Horlicks. One of the easiest recipes to make.
Apricot Malt Loaf: makes 2 x 1lb loaves (F)
12 oz (350g) self-raising flour
4 tblsp powdered malted drink
2 oz (50g) caster sugar
2 oz (50g) no-soak apricots, chopped
3 oz (75g) sultanas
4 tblsp golden syrup
half a pint (300ml) milk
Put everything in a bowl and beat together. Pour into 2 x 1lb greased loaf tins and bake for one hour ten minutes at 189C, 350F, gas 4 or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn out and cool on a wire rack. Each should cut into ten slices. Spread with butter and enjoy.
To freeze, overwrap when cold. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature 3 - 4 hours.

Many ingredients in this loaf recipe read almost like a breakfast cereal and it could be another way of getting healthy ingredients into those that don't care for muesli.
Harvest Loaf: serves 6 - 8 (F)
3 eggs
6 fl oz (170ml) oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz (150g) carrots, grated
4 oz (100g) desiccated coconut
6 oz (150g) cooking apples, peeled and grated
4 oz (100g) walnut pieces, chopped
4 fl.oz (115ml) runny honey
6 oz (150g) raisins or sultanas
7 oz (175g) self-raising wholewheat/meal flour
3 oz (75g) porridge oats
half teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg
pinch of salt
Beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, carrots, coconut, apples, walnuts, honey and dried fruit.
Then sift the flour and carefully fold into the mixture together with the remaining ingredients. Pour into an oiled or buttered 2 lb loaf tin and bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 1hour 15 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cake airer and leave to get quite cold. Serve sliced and buttered.
To freeze: when cold, overwrap and seal. Use within 6 months. To serve, thaw at room temperature for approx 5 hours.