Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Just before Christmas I happened upon the new book the great british bake off, Learn to bake 80 easy recipes for all the family First of all I didn't bother looking as I can bake and I didn't need to learn the basics right? Well then I finally looked through the book.  It was actually full of lovely bakes which anyone would be proud to serve up to family and friends or even just greedily eat ;o) Luke seemed to love looking through the book to as it was easy for him to see what needed doing, how it needed doing and he finally asked could we make these please?

So our maiden recipe for this book was large soft pretzels. 
we mixed the dry ingredients 

300g white bread flour
2 teaspoons caster sugar
7g/1 sachet fast action dried yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt 

together in our mixing bowl and then added 225 ml of luke warm milk

At this point we put it into our mixer to knead for 5 minutes, by hand it would take about 10 minutes and we finished off by putting the dough on a board and letting Luke learn and experience kneading, which he announced he could do all day it was fun! hmmmm? 

Dough went back into the bowl and covered with our trusty shower cap for half an hour before we punched the dough down and divided it up into 8 equal sized balls and left to rest for a few minutes. 

Each ball then got rolled out until it was the length of our board ( not right length but it worked) and we had a little fun getting tangled up trying to make the pretzel shapes.

Eventually we had 2 trays of pretzels, which we left to prove for 15 minutes while we prepared the toppings. one egg was beaten to brush over then grated cheese for 5 of them and course sugar for the other 3.

We then baked for 15 minutes at gas mark 7 and Luke carefully brushed them all with melted butter when they came out of the oven giving them their glossy soft chewy crusts. 

We waited until they just still warm and ate them without butter but with the odds and ends left from Christmas left in our fridge.  Wensleydale  cheese with cranberries, brie, sliced gherkins and ham cooked in coke.  

All in all the book impressed me, it was basic enough it was understood by a 10 year old, but the recipes were impressive enough to appeal to a baker who has baked for a while.