Bread and beyond

I have found bread here to be a bit of a problem, Baguettes, are fine, as long as use them within a couple of hours, any longer than that, then stale. Bread prices are fixed by the state, that is, run of the mill bread but anything more than that then, the baker can charge what he likes. I always thought that sourdough, as we know it in the UK was something of an anathema, but apparently not, Pain de Campagne is the French equivalent. So I have set to, to discover how to bake this, ( and I’m not really a baker) results will follow!

Meanwhile our youngest visitor made cup cakes with pink, white and silver sprinkles.

Using an All In One method, he made a victoria sandwich mixture , put into cup cake cases and baked, iced and decorated with the said sprinkles.

I am a great believer in The All In One Method. I think as I have previously said,this I taught to very underprivileged kids in Vauxhall, almost 50 years ago. It is simple, easy to follow and works well. When I see a current recipe saying exactly as they did 50 years ago ” cream the fat with the sugar, add the beaten eggs and sift in the flour, I cringe. Actually if you look in Mrs. Beetons or any cook book from the 1800’s to the present day, the recipe basically remains the same as does the method.

Mrs Beaton 1861

In “The Great British Bake Off ” book (2011) the recipe as as always, starting with cream the butter and sugar. The only book I have found that contains the modern method is “How to Cook” by Nigella Lawson. I have not been a fan of hers but she does try to keep thin simple. Formally, when the UK used Pounds and ounces, this recipe was easy to remember as we used equal amounts of fat, sugar, flour and eggs, ie 4 Oz each of flour, butter and sugar and 2 eggs, but now we have to remember the the number of grams. I find that many of my books are still in Imperial, others in Metric and still others are American, using cups as the basic measurement.

For a basic Victoria Sandwich or for cup cakes the ingredients are:-

  1. 125 grms each soft butter, caster sugar, self raising flour.
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 2tabspoons milk
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder

Normally you wouldn’t use baking powder as well as self raising flour, but without the beating by hand mixing the mixture just needs a little help to rise.

Very simply put the butter and sugar into a food processor and give it a quick wizz to blend. Add the flour, eggs and baking powder, another quick blitz and with the motor still running pour in the milk.

Sam enjoying the extra cake mix !

Spoon into cases ( they really need to be stood in a muffin tin, otherwise they will collapse) and bake at 160 fan, 180 normal oven for about 20 mins. Cool and decorate.

Sam wanted pink cupcakes, we didn’t have any food colouring but we did have some Grenadine cordial ( grenadine is basically pomegranate) so we added a little of that to the icing sugar, which gave us pale pink and with flavour!Cake decorating skills

1890
1924
1900

These have to be some of my favourites, a hand written book ( it says receipts rather than recipes) has all sorts of information including How to darken grey hair !

1888

I have a collection of old cookery books and here are some of them

2 thoughts on “Bread and beyond

  1. I haven’t tried this but it makes sense to me:

    The reason the all in one method needs more baking powder is that less air is created when you mix all the ingredients at once. So do it in 3 steps:

    Put the eggs in the processor and give them a good mix so they are foamy. Add the butter and sugar, and do it again (no foam this time but some air is incorporated).

    Then add the flour and pulse only until just blended.

    Personally, I always add some vanilla extract.

    x

    Bob

    PS loved the cookbook pics!

    On Sat, 8 Aug 2020 at 14:13, oystersandchampagne wrote:

    > Oysters and Champagne posted: “I have found bread here to be a bit of a > problem, Baguettes, are fine, as long as use them within a couple of hours, > any longer than that, then stale. Bread prices are fixed by the state, that > is, run of the mill bread but anything more than that then, th” >

    Like

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