Sunday, August 31, 2014

Let's Get Technical - Great British Bake Off Series 5 Bread Week

Hard to believe we are already at week three of The Great British Bake Off and it's bread week. (or that it's really week four and I hadn't written this one up)

I discovered this week I would be a reality show producers' dream. (I hope they are paying attention now)

Being bread week I was quite confident this technical challenge would go smoothly. I can't remember the last loaf of bread I bought and to further enhance my confidence I had previously made Paul Hollywood's ciabatta recipe. 

I was even confident enough to tweet that I hoped my bake was more successful than the spelling in the GBBO book!

So while I thought I was on the highway to success, a producer and potential audience would know this kind of confidence had me plotting a course straight towards a doughy iceberg!

The original recipe posted on the bake off site had half the dough resting for 6 hours which I thought was interesting for a 3 hour challenge, though Paul from Beer and Baking did suggest that the BBC has access to the T.A.R.D.I.S. so it all made sense. 

While I already have the current GBBO book I haven't read the recipes for the challenges apart from the equipment list just to make sure I had everything needed.

So the clock begins, the flour, water, yeast and salt are kneaded into submission for the sake of such a heavenly pursuit as bread.

The live tweets go out for those that are following alone and home, and to my delight there are people following along at home. (you can too, twitter #lets_get_technical or @dbtsauce Sunday afternoons Melbourne time)

And so we now have some more additions to my every doubling in size collection of pictures of dough...(yes I know what I did there)

There was a moment of worry as the dough wasn't rising as high as I would like, but my tub was 4.5L rather than the requested 3L, so there may have been a little more girth than height.

It's a challenge gently handling and shaping such a moist dough for the fear of losing the air.

And in they go...
As you can see my oven is "professional" and has the option for fan forced or not, which is great as long as I remember to choose the correct one. 

 Yes, well,  live tweeting the event may take away a certain level of concentration!

With a heavily floured and semolina'd tray I'm not sure why it decided to stick

Being that it's my challenge I figure I can make up the rules, so I started again.
It would be a shame if I got eliminated from my own house!
And sometimes you just have to go with what you know and line the tray and finish it on the baking stone.

Ahh now that looks better!

Could be more holey but was a lovely breakfast with some avocado and bacon!

Next week (well this afternoon) I'll have a go at Mary's Tiramisu cake, which could lead to a falling out with Mary all over a certain ingredient I "sort of find unacceptable...." 

Be sure to tune into the drama as I'm also cooking my Mother in-(should be)-law's birthday dinner at the same time..... multitasking woo hoo!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Let's Get Technical - Great British Bake Off Series 5 Biscuit Week

Week two of the Great British Bake off and it's biscuit week.

This will be interesting as biscuits aren't something I make or eat regularly maybe a 3-4 times a year occasion, including gingerbread at Christmas. I don't dislike biscuits but would always opt for bread or cake or pastry instead.  

I won't be writing too much about the contents of the show, star baker or eliminated baker, purely to avoid spoilers for people that haven't seen it. Also the purpose of this challenge is really for my own learning's and review my own skills rather than the bakers in the tent.

Though this moment in the show had to be shared.
Photo BBC / Love Productions
The look you get when you don't make your own fondant!
The look you get when you add glacé cherries to a recipe!
That's 2 weeks in a row, not happy MARY!
Thankfully when I read the ingredient list I was relieved to find that the glacé cherries could be substituted for dried cranberries and luckily I had some left from Finland's entry to Chow Down to Eurovision 2014 (seamless cross promotion)

The technical challenge this week is Mary Berry's Florentines (recipe here)

 At first I started using a teaspoon measure to put them on but second guessed myself and went for a teaspoon which made the Florentines have inconsistent sizes.

Bigs or littles I call it catering for everyone
 No visible chocolate bleeding through, that's because they are upside down in the photo!

That is kinda a zig zag, maybe more a wave?
My chocolate tempering wasn't the best on this occasion, can we call that a zig zag??
On the back of this challenge I suspect I could eliminate myself, but as AB said "you're the only baker, you can't be eliminated" I like that logic!
The verdict is I won't be in a hurry to make Florentines again but I did learn about tray variations and the effect on cooking time and heat retention when tempering chocolate.

Having already made a loaf before starting the Florentines, bring on bread week I say!

What have you been baking this week? Have you given Florentines a whirl? 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Let's Get Technical - Great British Bake Off Series 5 Cake Week

Firstly I should apologise for the title of this series because Let's Get Technical fits perfectly to ONJ's Let's Get Physical.....and will be stuck in your head for days.
Let me hear Mary Berry talk! (warned you)
The Great British Bake Off started again this week for a 5th series which means my obsession will be flamed for another 11 weeks.
Previously I've written about my love of the Bake Off in all it's international guises in these posts: My Own Private Bake Off, My Bake Off Birthday and 200 Odd Years And Still Pinching Bread.

The main reason for my enjoyment of Bake Off is that it is a show based on skill rather than personality, bitchy tactics, or relying on family tragedy to have a good enough back story so the audience can cry through and forget that you're actually a bit rubbish at cooking.

I have learnt so much just from listening to the judge's critics, the baker's explain their methods and seeing the successfully and sometimes not successful results.

Though the best way to learn is with practice so over the next few weeks I'm going to be baking the technical challenges that are in the show each week.

I of course have the massive advantage of seeing the show first, having the recipe, and not having a camera crew just waiting to see my every mistake. I will stick to the time limit that is allocated in the challenges and if you follow me on twitter @dbtsauce you will be able to follow the bake in real time. (Sunday afternoons)

I'll then photograph the result, good, bad or ugly, it will be honest but let's hope there's no major disaster...

The first challenge was Mary Berry's Classic Cherry Cake (recipe here)

I do love Mary Berry, but hate glace cherries though I soldiered on.

So with two hours on the clock all that was needed was for someone to yell:
On your mark, get set, BAKE! (ok I did it and I'm not ashamed either)

Oh Mary why?? ewwww I hate glace cherries, even just touching them.

I suspect I was a little heavy handed with greasing the tin which I think has made it darker.
It did just slide out of the tin though.....and almost onto the floor.
Those icing lines aren't even, Paul won't be happy!

It's all about your cherries being suspended....

 My nuts are quite large as I'd forgotten flaked almonds so flaked some whole almonds myself
 Well if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it properly!
And amazingly my cake was ranked number one, ok it was the only one but work with me here.
The verdict is I'm quite happy with this as a first attempt at this cake. I think it's quite achievable in the time frame but would be so much better without those vile glace cherries!
So that's one technical challenge down, let's see what biscuit week brings??
Have you been baking this weekend? Have you tried Mary's Cherry Cake?

If you need more cake and well the answer to that is always yes,  Lucy at Supergolden Bakes is hosting My Great #GBBO BAKE ALONG

Monday, August 4, 2014

In My Kitchen - August 2014

I'm back In My Kitchen with a post that's short and sweet but could this be in the new Shane, Manu or Miguel???

Maybe more Gordon.......I did need the swear jar once!

More saucy than Fifty Shades of Grey!