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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Baking A Blue Rock & Onion Braid Using A Sourdough Starter

I discovered a small piece of Blue Rock cheese in the fridge and immediately knew that I wanted to use this in the bread that I intended to bake. Adding some chopped onion, seemed the most natural thing in the world to do, and so I did. I added a couple more interesting ingredients to enhance the flavour, which had me waiting impatiently at the oven door for the bread to be ready, as the whole house was filled with wafts of deliciousness. I once again used a sourdough starter as raising agent. (You can read more about this in an earlier blog: Making a Sourdough Starter). In today's blog, I share ideas for baking a delicious savoury braid with you.


In a medium sized mixing bowl, add 1 cup (250 ml) brown bread flour, 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) cake flour, 1 cup (250 ml) oats, 1 tablespoon (12,5 ml) sugar and 1 tablespoon (12,5 ml) salt.
Optional: To speed up the raising process, you can add half a packet of Instant Dry Yeast to the dry ingredients.


Add roughly 1 teaspoon each (5 ml each) of freshly ground black pepper, paprika and sweet basil.


Crumble a finger of Blue Rock cheese into the dry ingredients. Finely chop two cloves of garlic and two jalapeno chilies and add this to the bowl as well.


Chop an onion very finely and add this to the bowl. Mix the dry ingredients well.


Add 1 egg, 1 cup (250 ml) sourdough starter and 125 g (125 ml) melted butter/margarine to the dry ingredients. Bring the dough together.


Add just enough buttermilk to the dough to bring it together. I used roughly 75 ml in my dough.


Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it resembles an elastic ball.


Return to the bowl and cover with plastic. Allow to rise in a warm dry place.


Remove from the bowl once risen.


Knock the dough back by kneading it again on a lightly floured surface.


Prepare a large baking tray with non-stick spray and lightly flour the surface.


Divide your dough into four equal balls.


Roll the dough balls into snakes and gather together at one end.


Take the furthest string and fold it over two strings.


On the opposite side, take the furthest (outer) string and fold it over two strings. Continue this until the whole length of dough is braided.


Tuck the ends in.


Transfer to the baking tray.


Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm dry place.


Once risen, preheat the oven to 200 °C.


Bake for about an hour.


Once baked, the loaf will tear easily along the braids, making it unnecessary to cut.


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
You can follow Miekie's daily Bible Study blog, Bybel Legkaart, here in English & Afrikaans.
You may prefer to follow the traveling blog, A Pretty Tourist.
For more crafty ideas and great product reviews, visit A Pretty Talent on Facebook.
If you are in a literary mood, follow Miekie's musings, stories and poetry on A Pretty Author - Miekie.
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making life PRETTY.
You can subscribe to any of these blogs and receive regular updates by email. Simply register your email address at the top of the applicable blog.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Baking A Garden Herb Loaf Using A Sourdough Starter

It is always interesting to discover what other people keep in their pantries, and to then try to cook or bake with their ingredients. I find it even more fun when they keep vegetable and/or herb gardens. I am on an extended stay in Hondeklipbaai in Namaqualand at a friend's house while she is gallivanting overseas. As I am already in the habit of baking my own bread, I simply continued to do during my stay, having grown my own sourdough starter. You can read more about this in an earlier blog: Making a Sourdough Starter). In today's blog I show you how I incorporated the fresh garden herbs in my loaf.


In the garden, I found some fennel, spinach, oregano and mint that I could use.


I chopped all of the herbs very finely after removing the stalks.


I did the same to the spinach.


I then chopped an onion and fried it lightly in some heated oil.


I found two jalapenos and a clove of garlic.


These were also chopped finely.


I added the chilies and the garlic to the onions, frying them slightly.


All of the above went into a medium sized mixing bowl.


I then added 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) cake flour, 1 cup (250 ml) brown bread flour, 1 cup (250 ml) oats, 1 tablespoon (12,5 ml) sugar, 1 tablespoon (12,5 ml) salt, and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard powder to the bowl.
Optional: To speed up the raising process, you can opt to add half a packet of Instant Dry Yeast to the dry ingredients.


Mix the herbs and the dry ingredients well.


Add a cup (250 ml) of sourdough starter, 2 eggs, 125 ml melted butter/margarine and a packet of tomato puree to the bowl.


Bring the dough together.


Prepare a baking dish with non-stick spray and lightly flour the bottom of the dish. Lightly flour your working surface for kneading as well.


Knead the dough into an elastic-like ball.


Place the dough in the baking tin and lightly press to fill the the whole dish.


Score the top to prevent the crust from cracking.


Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm dry place.


Once risen, preheat the oven to 200 °C.


Bake for an hour and 20 minutes (80 minutes).


Turn the bread out on a wire rack to cool.


The crust tends to be a little hard due to the long baking time. Cover with a damp cloth if you prefer a softer crust. The steam will soften the crust without making the bed soggy.


I had mine with butter and cheese. Delicious!


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
You can follow Miekie's daily Bible Study blog, Bybel Legkaart, here in English & Afrikaans.
You may prefer to follow the traveling blog, A Pretty Tourist.
For more crafty ideas and great product reviews, visit A Pretty Talent on Facebook.
If you are in a literary mood, follow Miekie's musings, stories and poetry on A Pretty Author - Miekie.
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making life PRETTY.
You can subscribe to any of these blogs and receive regular updates by email. Simply register your email address at the top of the applicable blog.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

West Coast Oxtail Potjiekos With Muscadel

I am still on my extended stay here in Hondeklipbaai on the West Coast of South Africa. I have had numerous invites to eat with new friends and have watched them closely in their food preparations. Discovering a pack of oxtail in the freezer, I decided to make my own version of West Coast Potjiekos with what was available in the house. It turned out fab. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Heat a little oil in your heavy cast iron pot.


Sear the meat to lock in the flavour and turn the heat way down on the flame.


Add water and season with salt and pepper.


Peel two onions and slice into quarters.


Crush two garlic cloves and chop up three jalapeno chilies to add to the pot. Close the lid and allow the potjie to cook on a low heat for roughly 2 hours or till the meat is soft and tender.


Peel 3 carrots and cut into chunks. Close the lid. Allow the potjie to cook on a slow heat for roughly an hour.


Peel 3-4 potatoes and cut into quarters. Add to the pot.


Peel and pit a butternut and slice into chunks. Add this to the pot.


Break a head of cauliflower into florets and add to the pot.


Use a quarter of a cabbage only.


Slice into chunks and add to the pot.


Add roughly half a bottle of muscadel to the pot. The remainder of the muscadel goes into the cook!


Put the lid on and allow to cook over a slow heat for another half an hour.

Now is the perfect time to cook your rice. Heat a little butter in another cast iron pan. Add a cup of Basmati rice. Add a handful of cranberries and a teaspoonful of paprika powder. Season with salt. Lightly fry the rice.


Add 2 1/2 cups cold water and bring to the boil. Turn the flame down once the water is boiling and cook until the rice is dry.


Mix a packet of Cream of Mushroom soup with cold water. Add this to the potjiekos, stir through, and allow to simmer for 15-30 minutes.


Stir the potjiekos only lightly if necessary. Stir the rice only to loosen the grains and spread the cranberries evenly.


Close-up of the rice.


Close-up of the Oxtail Potjiekos with Muscadel.


Dish up and enjoy!


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
You can follow Miekie's daily Bible Study blog, Bybel Legkaart, here in English & Afrikaans.
You may prefer to follow the traveling blog, A Pretty Tourist.
For more crafty ideas and great product reviews, visit A Pretty Talent on Facebook.
If you are in a literary mood, follow Miekie's musings, stories and poetry on A Pretty Author - Miekie.
Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making life PRETTY.
You can subscribe to any of these blogs and receive regular updates by email. Simply register your email address at the top of the applicable blog.