Foraging, jamming and baking

Hi everyone!

I really enjoy busy days. Today has been a shopping and cooking day. In between all the cooking, the dogs needed walking and I picked some damsons, which were soon integrated into the cooking. Here is how the day went. I haven’t baked in a while so I started with spiced fruit bread. I bake all my bread in my bread machine. It kneeds, knocks back, kneeds again and then bakes. It makes really good bread. I can’t understand why I didn’t get one of these years ago. I was given this one and I’ve seen loads at car boot sales. Here is how I made the spiced fruit bread

Add one and a quarter cups of milk, two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of margarine.

 Here is the cheap bread flour that I buy from Lidl. It works really well.

 Then add the dry ingredients, 4 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons of yeast, 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

 Here is the ‘quick’ yeast I use. Made especially for bread machines. I seal it and keep it in the cupboard.

 After the machine has kneeded for 20 minutes, it ‘beeps’ and tells me to add a cup of mixed dried fruit. After that – do what you like, the machine does the rest. I went out and walked all the dogs.

 An hours of so later. The bread was done. It always sinks a bit, the steam runs off the roof of the bread machine and causes it to sag. We all sag a bit in the end!!!

 Whilst I was out walking the dogs, I picked some Damsons and brought them home. I decided to make ‘Damson Bakewell tart’. I started with cooking the damsons (wild plums) in a dash of water until they were pulp.

 When they were cooked, I pushed them through a seive and had 100ml of juice so I added 100 g of sugar (about a quarter of a pint and a quarter of 1lb)

 I defrosted a bit of pastry whilst the homemade jam was cooling, the observant amongst you will notice, there are red currants in the jam. I had a few in the freezer and I added them at the end……waste not, want not. All of it went back in the fridge for ten minutes whilst I made an almond sponge mix. You use 100g of sugar, eggs and marg and mix together with 100g of flour and a sprinkle of almond essence.

 Smooth the sponge cake mix over the top of the jam and bake in a moderate oven – about 180 for around 30 minutes. I don’t time it, when it’s done, it’s done.

 Here’s what the finished cake looks like. It goes really well with custard!

 Here’s the day’s baking altogether. Spiced fruit loaf, cut open so you can see what it looks like. It’s best toasted with some butter for breakfast or with a cup of tea for DB to take to work. I also made a carrot cake; you know what they say, if life gives you cheap carrots, then make carrot cake.

Not bad for a returning baker. Two damson Bakewell tarts, one carrot cake and a fruit loaf. Not to mention that there will be pasta carbonara later!


12 thoughts on “Foraging, jamming and baking

  1. Loved the bakewell tart – something I have never tried and it looks really easy – thanks for posting the pictures too (nothing beats actually seeing a lovely cake!!!)


  2. Please come cook for me! I don't even have the energy to bake bread, and I love baking bread. Of course that could be due to the crazy hot summer we have had.


  3. Mmm cake! I really must try something different in our breadmaker, we've only used it so far for basic loaves and pizza dough but i fancy trying the fruit bread. Do you ever make any savoury bread in it? Like the ones that cost a fortune in the supermarket with sun-dried tomato or olives in? K xx


  4. Oh My! Froogs, you inspired me to try the Dukan diet…I bought the book (25% off, of course) have lost ten pounds. But looking at this gives me very high caloric day dreams!


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