Captain's Table

Mark Austen

2019.07.21 - I Shall Have to Skip Lunch

Tina is going to be in Arundel next week for the annual Medieval Jousting Week where she will be riding in the hunting games. She requested an Amish Friendship Cake to take with her and I have to confess that I got slightly carried away and promised her two. Then I changed my mind and said that I'd given it some thought and decided not to make two cakes for her but one cake and some Amish Carrot Fairy Cakes.

I won't call them muffins since a muffin is a small, round, flat yeast-leavened bread which is commonly sliced horizontally, toasted, and buttered. That which the majority of people think of as a muffin is really a large cup cake and I think of them as American Muffins instead of English Muffins.

Still, I started baking this morning as she leaves after breakfast tomorrow and got carried away even more.

Here is the Amish Friendship Cake as requested and in the requested shape.

And here are the Amish Carrot Fairy Cakes. There were sixteen but I had to try one as this is the first time that I've used this recipe and Tina had to approve them, so now there's only fourteen.

And here is where I got further carried away, eight Mehrkorn Brot rolls (Multi-grain bread). Yes, I know there's only seven in the photo but we had to try these out as well and had half a roll each.

And the pièce de résistance, a fresh baked, half wholemeal, half white, artisan, bread loaf. Artisan, by the way is a fancy, modern, showing-off term for a round load instead of a square one.

Still, it came out very well and was an experiment. The No-Knead breads that I have been making recently are somewhat slack and the dough really does not hold its shape particularly well as a result. I have this great bread baking device a La Cloche Baking Dome and was wondering how I could use it with the slack doughs that I'd been making. I was quite expensive and has been languishing in a cupboard for a couple of years since I stopped making kneaded breads. I noticed it yesterday whilst I was clearing out the pantry and throwing away well out of date items and wondered if there was a way that it could be used.

I read around for a bit and found that the Cane Bannetons I have are not just for shaping the bread dough but also form a "skin" on the upper surface of the dough that helps to hold the shape whilst it is baking. This is due to the flour dusted into the Banneton and the porous nature of the cane. So I decided to give it a try.

The result was spectacular, as you can see. I think the Cloche is going to be used a lot more in future. Needless to say, I'll have to try a slice of this bread once it has cooled.

Hence the need to skip lunch!