Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chia Ciabatta

I used the River Cottage Recipe Book, and advice from The Sourdough Companion website on adding chia seeds which absorb 6 times their mass in water.
Soak 2 tbsp of chia in 12 tbsp warm water.
Add this paste to the ciabatta dough before forming into loaves.
This keeps the bread more moist, and fresher for longer.

Maple Toffee Bacon

This is amazing in caesar salad or...any salad.

I do it on the stove so I can watch it, make sure it doesn’t burn, and taste test as I go, of course.

Some people may choose to oven bake it.


Get whole strips of bacon, remove rind and cut it up into pieces.

Put in frypan, cook for a short period to render some fat, drain.

Add back to pan with enough maple syrup to coat bacon with a little extra to spare in the bottom of the pan, but not so its swimming.

Cook on low heat till it goes sticky. Approx 10-15mins. Remove from heat and put in a ceramic bowl to cool.

Optional: add extra maple syrup (swimming) and cook until it candies then spread out on a wooden board and fracture it into shards after its cooled. This makes harder pieces that can be added to salads and wont go soggy.

Scottish Oatcakes

Savory oatcakes (or bannocks) are quintessentially Scottish.
Perfect with some hearty cheese, smoked salmon, goats cheese & dill or chutney.


225g Scottish oatmeal
60g wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g butter or olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
60-80ml hot water
Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
Mix everythign together in a bowl except the water.
It should have the consistency of large bread crumbs.
Start adding the water until you have a thick dough.
The amount of water varies; depending on the oats.
Sprinkle some flour on a bench and roll out the dough to1/2cm thickness.
Use an upturned whisky glass to cut rounds.
Bake for appprox. 20-30mins. or until slightly golden brown.
I think these are nice with bananas or with honey, or almond butter :)

Baker Garden Family Dinner ~ Lasagne

We had a family dinner at my new house last week ~ my new housemates are Ingrid, Joe, Shaun, and Siobhan. We had vegetarian lasagne and salad. Joe had a genius idea of coating the entire tray in the 3 cheese mix before laying out the sheets and ingredients so it turns into a big cheese cookie lasagne. To do next time.

Vegetarian Lasagne


3 cups strong pasta flour
4 eggs
2 tbsp water
pinch of salt

1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 can tomatoes
1 jar tomato passata
1 glass of good shiraz
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
1 handful fresh torn basil

1/2 a pumpkin
1 large eggplant
2 red capsicum
2 green capsicum
2 zucchini
bag of mushrooms

3.5 cups milk
60g butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 cups of grated cheese (I used mozzarella, cheddar and colby)


Mix the pasta flour, eggs, water and salt together and knead for 5 minutes.
Cover in glad wrap and refridgerate.

Tomato sauce
Saute the onions and garlic.
Add the tomatoes and passata and simmer continuously while preparing everything else.

Cut all vegies into 1cm slices
Lay the pumpkin on a tray and cook in the oven at 200.
Heat olive oil in a pan and cook eggplant till browned, do the same for the other vegetables.

Bechamel Sauce
Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan and frying the flour in the butter for a couple of minutes. do not allow to brown. slowly pour in half a cup of milk and whisk rigorously, taking it off the heat if need be (if it is bubbling too much). Slowly add the rest of the milk in small 1/2 cup batches, always, always whisking.  finally, add a pinch of salt and the nutmeg. set aside.

Find a cool dude and a lovely lady to help make the lasagne!
Use a pasta roller to roll out sheets of lasagne pasta
Lay a bed of tomato sauce on the bottom of a deep oven tray. (you could use cheese instead!)
Have fun placing layers of vegies with red or white sauce alternating with the pasta sheets.
Throw some random things in there. A cinnamon stick is a nice surprise treasure.
Finish with the white sauce and a layer of cheese!

Bake for 30 minutes at 200 then serve with a crunchy zesty salad

Im so happy to have found such nice people to live with, this was a nice family dinner to start getting to know each other :)