Saturday, 30 August 2008

Bread 'n Jam .....

White Loaf Recipe (for breadmaker):
500g. ( 1 lb. approx) Strong White Flour
1 tsp salt
1 sachet of a fast working yeast
2 tsps. dried milk powder
1-2 tsps. sugar

1 tbl. olive oil or large knob of butter
approx. 300 ml. handwarm water *

I mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl. (You could also add some seeds of choice here.)
In your measuring jug, add the oil to the water -

*make sure the water is just hot enough to be able to dip your fingers in easily, without burning them. If it's too hot, it will kill the yeast (and maybe burn your fingers!)

Pour your liquid into the bread pan, then the dry ingredients (carefully) on top.

I have a Kenwood Breadmaker and can set this to a fast loaf setting, which makes and bakes the loaf in an hour.
If you take a peek from time to time while it's kneading - and the dough looks toooo sticky, throw in a little more flour. You may need to give it a poke so it moves around more!
Sit back till done ........... or .......

make some

I use recycled food jars with their lids. If you need to sterlise your jars - heat oven to approx. 190 C - place jars inside on the rack. When they are very hot - they're done. Remove carefully! I also pour boiling water over the lids to sterlise them. I fill the jars while they are warm.

Blackberry and Apple Jam: (small amount - makes approx. 1-1./2 lbs)
I always thought jam-making had a mystique to it - but it's not too difficult - and looks beautiful in its jars .............


approx. 12ozs. (3 cups) Blackberries

approx. 12ozs. (3 cups) Apples - peeled, and chopped small in food processor
8ozs. (2 cups) sugar
1/2 or 1 lemon - juice only
1/4 cup of water

I put the (washed and rinsed) fruit, and rest of the ingredients in a large enamel pan and gently dissolve the sugar, stirring. I keep it gently bubbling away for a short time, stirring from time to time, until the apples have begun to soften. (I suppose you could do this separately, then add the softened apples - but I haven't tried this.)

I then begin to boil the mix faster, still stirring occasionally, until it has reached the right temperature - which you have to check on your thermometer.

I keep testing little blobs of the jam on a cold plate until it looks as though it's setting - (I prefer a soft set). I drop a blob at a time on to the plate, say every few minutes, giving it and the previous blob a little push - to see whether it's setting. You should be able to see that it is getting thicker - after a gentle push with your finger!

When jam is ready, remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then very carefully pour into a large Pyrex jug and pour into your sterlised jars - (using a jam funnel makes it slightly less messy). Cool again very slightly, screw the lids on and label.

Leave to cool completely.
If you store it in the fridge, it tends to help the 'set'.

If you dont like all the pips from the blackberries, you can sieve the jam before potting up. This is hard work! but makes a deliciously smooth jam. You will, of course, lose about a jar of the jam too, as you're getting rid of a lot of the 'mass'.

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