Cannot see the wood for the trees

Surrounded by bread on a daily basis, most of it goes out the door and I often do not get much of a chance to actually eat it myself. I usually end up with bits of leftovers from the Sunday Cafe.

This week I have treated myself to one of the Tartine Loaves. This morning, feeling in a British mood I made fried eggs on toast. The toast of course was sliced from the “Tartine Loaf”. Spread with some pure butter, it really tasted great and took me back to my childhood. The taste was of real bread with the taste of toasted crumpets coming through. I had to ask my wife did I make this?

Strange I should think of Crumpets because today I am teaching somebody how to make crumpets. Although simple to mix, they are tricky to bake. Today is a batter day and we will produce sourdough waffles and pancakes besides the crumpets.

Crumpets and Pancakes are not known for reducing the waistline so the news about cooking rice with Coconut Oil will be welcome for many Malaysians. Apparently if you cook rice with a teaspoon of Coconut Oil and then leave it to cool and store overnight in the fridge it will lose half of its calories. To eat it re-steam it well to ensure the heat penetrates the rice all of the way through. This was discovered in Sri Lanka from research into Obesity. I read the article in the Daily Telegraph.

Simple Rice Cooking Hack could reduce calories

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Justlife at IPC

Sales of the Tartine sourdough bread has really taken off at Justlife. We are so pleased that customers are discovering Sourdough Bread.

I am making a limited amount of Bordinksy bread which is made to a Russian recipe. The ingredients include Fresh Ground Rye flour, Whole Grain Wheat, Mollasses, Raw Organic Sugar, Rye Levain, Rye Mash and Coriander.
This follows the official Russian recipe. Please allow two days to order.

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New Page

On the main page of this Blog there is a new button called “Ovens”.

I will list here all the information I find about unusual ovens for baking. Unfortunately most of them are from overseas and would have to be imported. Hopefully one day we will have some information on a Malaysian Oven Builder. There must be some as Brick Bread Ovens do exist in Malaysia or at least so I am told.

So if you know of any let me know.

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Listen to the Grain Divide on the BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b050yh95

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Sundays

We get quite a few people turning up on Saturdays. Unfortunately we have nothing prepared for them. We only open on Sundays from 3pm to 6pm for tea and scones. If I have time or the inclination I will prepare some other pastries as well.

If you want to collect bread on Sundays it is better you order it by Friday, then we will keep it for you. Please order by email.

I do bake some bread for Sundays but it usually goes quite quickly, so come early. But if you come before 3pm you will have to wait till 3pm to be fair to others.

Take care and for all of you celebrating Chinese New Year. Happy New Year and please travel safely.

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The Weekend is near

As the weekend draws near, I have to start thinking about what to bake for our weekend cafe. To that end I have just started making some puff pastry from a late 1800s English recipe. It differs from the French method in that it incorporates a portion of the butter directly  into the dough before the balance of the butter is layered in. The intended outcome is a crisper puff pastry.

Eccles Cakes

For all the fans of Eccles cakes out there, that is what the pastry will be used for. We hope you will enjoy them.

I get many requests for TeaCakes so they will also be on the menu. These are the English Teacake, the type of thing that you will find in nearly every cafe or teashop in Gt. Britain. They are a round, burger bun-shaped, yeasted bun with raisins and dried fruit. Typically, they are eaten split in half, toasted and buttered and enjoyed alongside a cup of tea.

Toasted Teacake

It might be a bit boring but I have put a video on You Tube of the process of milling flour. This is a Demeter Grain from Australia. I incorporate it into most of my breads going to Jason and Justlife. I cannot mill flour while we have guests as the flour gets everywhere and we have to do a big cleanup afterwards.

Finally how to make sourdough bread: How to Make Sourdough

 

And Final final. The woman who wrote this is absolutely brilliant. She has captured how British children think and talk to each other. Notice how multi-racial it is.

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Danish Pastries, Rich Chocolate Cake……

It was a very busy weekend that started with preparing all the components of the Danish Pastries. Marzipan, remonce, custard, lemon and finally the layered pastry dough. It was worth the effort as they all sold out including the Baker’s cuts. Baker’s cuts being the bits of odd shaped pastry that get cut off.

To complement the range we made a very nice sort of double chocolate chip muffin cake. I threw in some cranberries and raw organic chocolate nibs to give a nice burst of chocolate in each bite. The raw organic chocolate nibs are from a small village in India that has adopted organic farming. The whole cake was soon gone.

Talking of organic chocolate nibs I also purchased from the same source some delicious organic Assam tea that is blended with the chocolate nibs. It is extremely delicious with a slight honey taste. I am now drinking it every day. I purchase Cocoa products here: http://www.greenbugonline.com/

I have several fans of my Eccles cakes, so this weekend I will make some, just in case you are reading this. :)  Teacakes? I will try.

More people are requesting Sour Dough Bread by PosLaju, even those that live relatively close by. I guess with Schools back after the break the jam are back to normal or even worse with all the LRT/MRT works going on. I am looking towards the day when I can ride the trains around town. In the UK and in Singapore I always use the public transport to travel around the towns and country. Maybe one day Sourdough by LRT?

Hope to see you next Sunday.

 

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Saturday Bread Sales

I would be interested to see if there is any interest in us selling bread on Saturday Mornings direct from the oven. Please let us know and if we have a good response we could start in a few weeks.

Last week I mentioned that we would be making some special breads. This week we are sending to Jasons the Sourdough Chocolate Loaf enhanced with Organic Chocolate Nibs. Enjoy.choc3

 

 

This week we introduced a Pain De Mie baked in a Panibois, a fully biodegradable basket that is re-usable, this bread makes an ideal  gift. The bread is a soft Milk and Wheat Bread.

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Back to Basics

I have started the New Year by reducing some of my workload by more or less eliminating yeasted breads. These have gradually crept in over the years as customer demand went up.

I am now concentrating on sourdough loaves baked in the Brick Oven. I will seek out interesting recipes that incorporate non-wheat ingredients into the dough. This Month for example we are producing an old favorite Apple and Oats. These two nutritious ingredients complement the Organic Wheat Sour Dough to produce a moist, soft loaf that makes excellent toast or eaten plain.

As the months go by I will source other ingredients to complement the dough and in particular ingredients that are mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah. Barley for example is in the pipeline and we recently made a loaf Chick Pea bread for some friends of ours.

There will be slight change to our Sunday open days, we will put together each week a different way to eat bread.

 

Enjoy and keep Baking!

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What happened to the Flamingos

As both Mardia and I had engagements last weekend we decided to take the whole weekend off and went to stay in a hotel in KL. The first such break in many years.

I first stayed at the Flamingo Hotel by the Lake about 12 years ago and have stayed there several times since. I like it because it has that wonderful lake that gives you the sense of not being confined as do many other hotels. After a meal or in the early morning it is nice to go for a walk around the lake. It is sad however that on this trip there was evidence of the Hotels decline. I wonder why? Has the management team changed? There appeared to be few guests. A far cry from the hustle and bustle around the reception desk there used to be. The area which serves as a Coffee Shop is far too large and looks so dismal I would think few guests would dare to enter. When we walked in at breakfast time we were totally ignored and decided to go elsewhere.

They do have quite a nice restaurant on the top floor serving Iranian/Pakistani food which I happen to like. But again it was deserted and I think there were only two other tables occupied. The staff in the restaurant were quite friendly and helpful.

I do hope that one day it will be taken care of and nurtured back to its former glory if not it will only decline further and that would be sad.

I guess I have high standards. I have lived in many hotels around the world and worked in the Dusit Thani Bangkok for over a year. In that grand hotel I was told in lean times hoteliers must strive to improve the hotel and its services to attract more guests rather than cutback and hasten its decline. Sounds like sound advice.

What happened to the Flamingos? Perhaps they flew away as there habitat declined.

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