Number 52, of 52. Woohoo! Well I got there, I've cooked fifty two new recipes in 2014 and used cookbooks that previously just sat on the shelf gathering dust. I've had fun rediscovering those books too, but more on that another time. First though I have to share the last one of this challenge...
This week I've chosen a niche cookbook, one for cooking in cast iron bakeware it's titled "the cast iron way to cook" and is by Sue Cutts - the more eagle eyed among you will know that Cutts is my married name, but this lady isn't a relation. I do have Le Creuset cookware and I think I've used the book maybe once before, but I really can't remember. So it seemed a fitting way to end this challenge.
What's more I've chosen a bread recipe too, I'm partial to an odd loaf or two and make a sourdough loaf usually at least twice a week. This is a yeast based white loaf though flavoured with onion and olives. The recipe starts with chopping an onion and adding some olive oil before blasting it in the microwave - this is my kind of book! I wouldn't have thought to soften onion this way, but it worked.
I added the onion and chopped olives to the flour, salt, cracked pepper and yeast before adding warm water, cold milk and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Once the dough was together the recipe said to knead the bread for 1-2 minutes, which really didn't seem that long, most bread recipes suggest at least ten minutes. I decided to knead it a bit longer until some of its cellulite-look had gone. Then it was time to shape the loaf and add it to the tin - the recipe is for a Le Creuset terrine dish but I used a non-stick loaf tin instead.
I brushed the top of the loaf with some olive oil and slashed it on the top, covered it with cling film (usually I use a shower cap for this, but that was already employed on sourdough duties) and left it for an hour and a half to rise. When I next looked at the loaf it had risen well and was ready for cooking.
It went into a hot oven for about forty minutes and came out looking like this:
- it was easy to make, but used a lot of flour (750g)
- softening the onions in the microwave worked well and I'd do that again. The recipe said black olives but I used green spicy olives as we had some left from Christmas. We had some black olives left too but these still had the stones in, whereas the green ones didn't.
- kneading bread is very therapeutic so I didn't mind an extra bit of kneading (I don't knead my sourdough at all so it made a nice change)
- my yeast is a tad on the old side but thankfully it's still working. I was surprised by just how much the loaf rose. If I'm not sure about my yeast I tend to add it to the water before adding it to the flour, that way if it's not going to bubble I haven't wasted my flour. Also half a teaspoon of sugar encourages yeast to do its thing too...
- I'd make it again, especially for a treat, a picnic or dinner with friends. It'd go nicely with cheese and cold meats, less so with jam for breakfast though I think!
So that's the end of the 52 Cookbooks challenge, I plan to look back over the recipes and the challenge so join me for that during the week, and to find out what's next!