Tag Archives: baking

Interesting stuff…

I won’t post a recipe today but I thought that my readers might like to take a look at this: They Draw & Cook. I’ve been meaning to mention it in one of my posts for a long time and today’s the perfect day. There are so many words to describe TDAC – fun, colourful and creative are only a few. What’s fun about this is that it combines art with cooking, two of my favourite things and finding recipes in this format rather than simply flicking though a book is different and interesting. Not that I don’t love recipe books – I really really do, but sometimes change is good. It’s ideal for when it’s rainy and gloomy outside; it’s a great pick-me-up! You can also try some of their recipes and upload your photo, and throw in a review – why not? Featured right now is an illustration by Marjorie Mayes. So beautiful.

Ok. So at this point I signed off and was going to leave it at that. But I just had to come back and say it. Check this out: Richard III + the Guildford Shakespeare Company. Pure talent, plenty of passion and wonderful people. There are only a few days left till the final show, so go and support them if you can. I don’t know how to write about theatre so I’ll leave it at that but they are truly an inspirational bunch. A perfect recipe. If they are reading this I do have one question though: how on earth did you get that blood flowing effect on the steps in front of the throne during the dream sequence? They were perfectly clean after that! It was quite something!

Rob x

Chorizo and Thyme Bread

Fougasse-(4392)

Now that’s a great combo. That’s why I’ve chosen it for the name of this blog. And if you try this combination, you’ll know – it’ll be a bit of an a-ha moment. You see, to be honest this blog post was a long time coming and I know I will be relieved once it’s published. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you might already know that recently I bought a cook book which I didn’t like that much at first. I thought it was a total waste of money really. Having baked some recipes from it as the weeks passed by, I must now say that although I still have some lurking doubts, I am warming up to it slowly. First of all I must thank this book for this blog’s name. I have cooked with chorizo before and it has become a staple in my pantry. Lorraine Pascale made me want to try it with thyme. It turned out to be a perfect marriage.

The following recipe is my take on her Chorizo and Thyme Fougasse (click here for the actual recipe). I am grateful to Ms. Pascale for this and for some other recipes in her book which I will try very soon. I made this bread after a long walk in the beautiful Surrey countryside and loved it. So here it goes.

A very important note for this recipe: I used my bread machine to make the dough instead of a mixer with a hook. This was less messy and it worked really well for me. I will also include the traditional method later on.

For the bread machine dough method will need:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast dissolved into 250ml warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (extra virgin if possible)

Have 50g of finely chopped ready-to-eat chorizo and 2 tablespoons of dried thyme at the ready, to add after the dough cycle is ready, and some milk for brushing the dough.

  1. If you have a bread machine then choose the pizza dough option which will take approximately 45 minutes. Remove the dough from the container.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  3. Work the chorizo and thyme in the dough. When these are well combined leave the dough to rise in a warm place, preferably covered with some oiled clingfilm or a warm damp clean cloth for around 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Brush the dough with the milk.
  5. For the crust to remain nice and golden place two handfuls of ice cubes at the bottom of the oven (you can also either spray the oven with some cold water before closing or fill a small roasting dish with water in place of the ice cubes).
  6. Place the dough on a lightly oiled roasting tray in the oven. Bake for around 40 minutes but keep an eye on it and check its colour every once in a while. I know this is fiddly, but it’s worth it. I’m already smelling the freshly baked bread in your kitchen!

And now for the other method, all you need to do is to replace Step 1 with the following:

  • Mix the dough ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
  • Knead for 15-20 minutes. I know you have to work at it and use some muscle power but this will develop the dough’s elasticity. So please, please have patience.
  • Put the dough back in a bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  • Continue from Step 2.

    Enjoy!

    Rob x