Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Baking and making

This was a recipe I'd marked in a book (One Hundred Bread Machine Recipes by Vicki Smallwood) intending to make long before now.  However, we needed a fresh loaf yesterday so I set to and made this one, using the last two oranges in the fruitbowl.  O.M.G. it smelt DIVINE whilst I was making it and even better when it came out of the oven, looking a little as if it had been to the Bahamas on holiday as I had given it a good egg glaze and then put a tray of hot water in the bottom to give it a good crust.

I shall mix it better next time as the fruit stayed around the edges, but practice makes perfect and whilst it might not have got 10/10 on Bake Off for presentation and technique, it would have got 11/10 for flavour!  You start it off in the bread maker, but if you don't have one, just mic by hand in a bowl.


1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups (525 grams) white bread flour
1 teaspoon yeast

To finish:

Juice of one orange
75g (3 oz) dried cranberries
Zest of one orange

Place the first 7 ingredients in the baking pan in the order in which they are listed.  Set the programme to Dough.

Place the juice of the orange and the cranberries in a bowl and set to one side (I also added the zest of the orange.)

When the programme has been completed, remove the dough, strain the cranberries (I froze the remaining juice and orange zest to use again), add to the dough and knead until they have been well incorporated. (You may need to add some extra flour to make the process easier).  Shape the dough into a long sausage shape, roll it up into a coil, and then place it on a lightly oiled and floured baking tray  Loosely cover the dough with a damp tea towel and leave to prove until nearly doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg., C/400 deg. F/Gas mark 6.  When the dough has almost doubled in size, remove the teatowel and bake it in the oven for 20 or 25 minutes, or until it is golden and has cooked through.  Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and leave it to cool.

Ignore wonkey centre (it improved with practice), but this is the latest crochet project, which will end up as a big circular cushion, seen in the photo below.

I love the Granny Squares deckchair cover behind it too, but would rather just make a Granny Squares throw.

I loved this "acid-drops" green of the late afternoon sun on the autumn fields behind the farm.  Quite a contrast against the rain-laden clouds.

View beyond the top of the yard, to the right of the previous photo.  The Ash trees are losing their leaves and are laden with Ash keys as always, some a deep Parkin cake brown, others more golden.  We have had two days of rain following a lovely Indian Summer last week, when I was able to get out in the garden and carry on with the Autumn tidy up.

The corner of the bed where the ramblers grow.  I haven't been able to get on top of this for years, but had a really good clear out, and dig through and removed rubber trug (Itsy's old feed bowl) after rubber trug of Bindweed roots which spread easily here through a sandy corner (old builder's sand), plus eradicting a goodly amount of Ground Elder too.  I am going to plant a few bulbs here for spring.

The area is usually covered by the huge leaves of the Oriental Borage, which has just been cut back within an inch of its life.  I am going to remove a few of the Thugs further along the border to make it more easy to maintain.  I must have taken 30 barrowloads of spent leaves and stems from these borders, which is a bit ridiculous really and NOT low maintenance!

If it stays dry today we will pick the cooking apple tree and put them into store in boxes down in the larder, where it is nice and cool.  I like free food . . .


  1. I adore the sound of that bread but as I am on a serious mission to lose half a stone I shall quickly move on to adore that acid drop green field. Aren't the colours of Autumn wonderful this year?

  2. The bread looks so good I could almost smell it, I will be baking that at the weekend but will use golden sultanas rather than cranberries, just because I have them. Next time I am at The Grape Tree I will look for cranberries. Love the crochet, did you start with a magic ring, I struggle with those and have to follow a diagram every time.

  3. Love the bread it would be a lovely Christmas bread, will make a note to give it a try, it has just rained over here I think it will be dry later, we had a lovely dry afternoon yesterday I made a start with some clearing :-)

  4. MMC - it tasted as good as it looks too : )

    Pat - I had a piece for breakfast but have left the rest for OH. I just had to snap that acid green fields picture as it's the colour you often get before a storm, and hard to capture.

    Pam - enjoy that bread. You could ring the changes with whatever fruit you like, but my OH loves cranberries (and doesn't like anything sweet, and the cranberries aren't). Not sure what you mean about a magic ring, but I just followed the pattern, which was doing so many double crochets into the middle of about 3 chains sl/st together. I was drinking wine at the time, which is why the beginning is squiffy!!! Here's one I want to do later, from Lucy's Attic 24 blog: Her central part is MUCH neater and beautiful instructions on just how to do it (which is what I need, I'm a visual person.)

    Dawn - yes, a lovely Christmas bread. The weather can't seem to make its mind up at present, but I need to get out and pick whilst it's still dry.

  5. The bread looks absolutely delicious - will get OH to have a go (he's much better at breadmaking than me - I always have to use the breadmaker!).

    Love the crochet work - wish I could remember how to crochet (it always looks so pretty) especially for cushions and blankets.

    The first photo of the acid-green looks like a painting - beautiful :)

  6. R.Robin - I only learned to crochet in my mid-50s, and don't do it very often so I'm still learning. I've always done just rows rather than granny squares or in this case, some thing circular. Still got L-plates up! I just had to capture that acid-green colouring : ) I hope your husband can get to grips with the bread as it is SO tasty.

  7. The cranberry and orange loaf sounds really yummy! The Indian summer has wonderful hadn't it? Rain here as well for the last couple of days though still very mild.

  8. More infinitely more handy people than me!

  9. The bread looks divine !
    The photos of the green fields is wonderful and that is one of my favorite colors.

    cheers, parsnip

  10. Love the crochet and I have some Brocken deck chairs
    Your baking looks wonderful. So glad the comment button is working for me, I have been trying to leave comments.
    Fondly Michelle

  11. Ooh you are making me hungry again! Beautiful colours of the fields in sunshine.