sliced lemon blueberry bread cake
food, health, home

Lemon Blueberry Bread

#onecakeaweek

The cake for this week is a bread that is really a cake.

Blueberries are in season here at the Home by the Sea. Blueberries the so-called Superfood packed with antioxidants means this bread-like cake can legitimately claim the label of a healthy home-baked food.

You will find it especially delightful served warm with a cuppa.

Recipe for Lemon Blueberry Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light or low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F or 175° C
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  4. Fold in the blueberries, nuts and lemon zest.
  5. Transfer to a greased 8×4-in. loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  8. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over warm bread.
sliced lemon blueberry bread cake

Recipe Variations

Because of its lemon base you can replace the blueberries with raspberries or any other bey in season. Or you could turn this into an orange cranberry bread by using orange juice and cranberries. Cherries and almonds also pair beautifully with either lemon or orange.

Using full fat milk, will mean the bread will keep moist for longer.

A Home by the Sea
sourdough
food, health, home

To Sour A Dough

The uptake of families using their pandemic down time to create things at home, has led to shortages of essentials in stores in some places.

It is as if we have rewound the clock, to an earlier time, when takeaway was unknown and we prepared all of our own food. Which is such a better way to eat than packaged, pre-prepared foods that are preserved beyond comprehension and have a shelf life that Cro-Magnon man would envy?

Repressed Baker or Bakeaholic?

In my house, the baking frenzy – and the #onecakeaweek has been in full swing during the length of the Covid pandemic. Yet, I still bear the title of ‘Repressed baker.’

Or, perhaps it was likely that I was a baker in a former life?

I venture to say the joy of kneading bread dough borders on the therapeutic, for me at least. Kneading, folding, creating and then of course the joy of eating. It is almost blissful.

It is not the first time, this lapsed baker has made bread, but it has been a while.

When I turned 21 years old, I decided it was time to hang up my bread-making apron for other pursuits. Not only was the process of making bread time-consuming, but good yeast was hard to find and quite expensive. As a 20-something, the novelty of making my own varieties of bread quickly wore off.

Like others, the enforced leave from work, with adult kids who have (mostly), left the nest, means the urge to bake all kinds of things has returned with gusto.

Sourdough Mother

Now in the midst of lockdown, I returned to the kitchen to make sourdogh bread. I have already made loads of different kinds of cakes and sweet treats and was growing a sourdough mother under the expert tutelage of my blogger friends and bread-baking mentors, Sandy and Peggy.

Once I was able to secure some wholemeal flour, which was a feat in itself, given the shortages under Covid, I tended the sourdough starter lovingly for days and made a pancakes out of the discard.

The Final Result Sourdough Rolls

At the end of the week, I produced these wonderful Wholemeal Sourdough bread Rolls from Peggy‘s recipe.

bread rolls

I had enough to give some to my son and a friend. Surprisingly, the friend who happens to be Danish, so is used to beautifully cooked bread, raved about my sourdough rolls.

I was a little surprised she liked them, as I found them quite dense in texture and sliced them thinly to toast them. But then compared to Rugbrød, the Danish Rye bread, they are most likely light and airy given that the Danes like their bread really heavy and solid.

Danish Rugbrød or Ryebread

The Sourdough Mother has now gone, so I will have to start the process over again, which is a lot of fun.

Next time, it will be with Rye flour and linseed, just like the Danes, I think.

A Home by the Sea
fig
food, home

Forget the Banana Bread

Forget the Banana Bread, that is so yesterday! The new kid on the block at the Home by the Sea, is a breakfast Fig and Walnut Loaf.

Never having with Figs before, I was convinced to give it a go when my local cafe shut down. One of their signature breakfast dishes was a delicious Fig and Walnut Loaf. Not to be defeated, I decided to replicate this delight on my own.

The recipe was simple and straightforward, however I recommend exercising restraint with the quantity of figs. 250 grams of Figs constitutes a a whole packet and I only added half of that amount to this mix. That was more than enough and still leaves you with a very figgy loaf, which is fine, but I would suggest reducing the figs to 100 grams and adding a tad more walnuts.

But that is just my personal taste.

Suggested Variations

A nice variation would be to substitute a blend of Dried Apricots and Figs, or a mix of nuts. I suggest hazelnuts or pecans as well as walnuts.

I am sure you will absolutely love this dish for breakfast. As it takes 90 minutes to cook a deep loaf, I used two small loaf tins and a long 20 x 10 cm pan. The smaller pans were done in 30 minutes, whilst the larger took 75 minutes at the recommended temperature.

Fig and Walnut Loaf Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125 grams or 1/2 cup unsalted Butter, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk or Kefir
  • 250 grams or 1 cup Dried Figs**
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups Wholemeal Spelt Flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • 1 cup Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dessicated Coconut

Method

  1. Grease and line a large Non-stick Loaf Tin
  2. Place butter and water in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  3. When butter is melted, add figs. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. 
  4. Transfer figs and butter mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Add buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, flour, baking powder and mixed spice to bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Add walnuts and coconut and stir one last time.
  7. Pour into prepared tin.
  8. Bake in 160c oven for 90 minutes.
  9. Slice and serve with butter, and Garnish with mint, strawberries and dusting of icing sugar.

Original recipe from newideafood.com.au

autumn leaves japan
food, writing

The Mother of Sourdoughs

Beginning the Sourdough Journey

Day 4 – Creating a Sourdough Starter

After being late with the P.M. feeding of my starter last night, I was a little concerned that it may not be fermented enough by the time the morning feed was due, but comments from supportive fellow bloggers and my Sourdough mentors, Peggy, Sandy and Chris, relaxed me about the process.

A Forgiving Dough

Mary from Mary’s Nest Sourdough website, states that you can change/swap or alter your sourdough starter as you go along, from white to rye, or wholewheat. What flexibility! [Happy Dance]

I started this process using a mix with half whole wheat flour and half white flour, as this is the mix most of my family and me, prefer. This excludes the fastidious Moth, of course. He is a committed, refined-bleached- white flour man, who likes his bread ultra-fresh and soft as a baby’s bottom. That is a bad comparative metaphor for bread, but you get my drift.

So Day 4 Dawns, and I feed this mother of all sourdough mixes.

Some exponents, including Sandy, prefer using equal parts flour and water, by weight in their starter mix, and I might still do that. I guess I can change it up as I go along, with this ultra-flexible sourdough mix.

After all, as Chris pointed out in a previous comment, people have been making bread this way for millennia, and most likely didn’t have clocks, timers or accurate scales to measure ingredients.

More tomorrow from the Home by the Sea.

duck pond
food, health

Day 3 – Caring for Sourdough Mother

Day 3 dawns and I finally get to engage a bit more with my Sourdough starter.

It’s been sitting for two days. Like a child, it must now have a morning and evening feeding – twelve hours apart.

I raised the lid on the glass container and there were bubbles, loads and loads of them.

Maybe too many?

Mary from Mary’s Nest said a wide glass jar allowed for better fermentation. I did place it on the benchtop near the, oh so warm, slow cooker all of yesterday, and it WAS a warm day weather-wise. Perhaps it was too hot for the yeast?

Have I killed this sourdough baby before it has even had a chance to grow?

Would there be bubbles and fermentation if I had indeed, killed it?

Some many questions and doubts arise in my head.

Peggy and Sandy? Is this okay?

The mix smelt really yeasty, but perhaps too yeasty. I did a quick image search on Google. It didn’t look like mould but maybe it smelt like it? I decided to feed it and see if it would grow. If it was dead, it wouldn’t grow, would it?

More tomorrow.

And I will feed it at 8.20 pm tonight.