Monday, 6 July 2009

a little bit of madness and baking...

For the past week here in the UK we've been lucky enough to have some really nice weather, the flipside of this has meant I haven't spent much time in front of the computer and so haven't been blogging - ooops! It couldn't last though and now we have humid and showery weather - so I'm back again!

One thing which has been driving me mad this week, is trying to get to grips with colour profiles - (* insert loud scream here*) as I've been doing some tester photo prints, (from a lab) to put in my Etsy shop and they're not turning out the same as what I can see on my screen, so I'm having to keep tweaking. I know the answer is to have my monitor profiled but the idea of spending money on software to do this when I keep reading conflicting reports about how good this is, is driving me nuts! Truthfully my brain is fried with all this knowledge - who knew that I would become so geeky as to want to try and understand this stuff!


Never mind, I'm sure it will all become clear, (at some point!) and I guess I'll just have to keep tweaking! After filling my brain with monitor profiles etc etc... I managed to soothe my frazzled brain with some baking - cupcakes to be precise. It's just as well I'm doing more running these days, as I have a thing for cupcakes at the moment!


Oh and bread also. Delicious bread that smells so comforting...

bread and paper...

For those who asked about a recipe - here it is in a nutshell - it really is so easy.
Firstly, let me say I have no problem with doing things the easy way if it tastes good, which is why I use dried yeast as it's so quick, (as only one kneading and proving is required). Makes one large loaf.

500g / 1lb 2oz strong bread flour (I use half white, half wholemeal)
25g/1 oz butter (I never weigh this, I just guess and scoop some with a teaspoon)
1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 and a half teaspoons fast action yeast or 7 g sachet (check on the yeast you are using, you may have to adjust the flour amount a little)
300ml/ 10 fl oz warm water

I use a food processor with a dough hook and put the flour, sugar, salt and butter in and whiz for a few seconds, (if you are doing this by hand you rub in butter to the flour then add salt and sugar) then add the yeast (and whiz) then add *** the water until it comes together into a dough, ( about 4 mins in the machine) and voila!

***Usually at this point I add extras such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds - whatever I have really, in whatever quantity - usually a handful of each but this means you need to increase the water so you can mix it into a dough.

I then take it out and knead it by hand for a couple of minutes and then pop it into a greased tin, shake a little flour over the top, cover it with a tea towel and leave it to double in size.

Once this is ready I pop it into a pre heated oven, (removing the tea towel!) at 230c (450 F, gas mark 8) for roughly 30-35 mins. The loaf should sound hollow when tapped underneath. Remove from tin, (resisting urge to gobble up) and leave to cool.

As I said, so super easy - it usually takes me about 15 mins from the start point, (ie weighing out) to the point when it is in the tin ready to be doubled in size. Sometimes I ring the changes with herbs, sundried tomatoes, seeds etc - just remember that if you add anything to the basic recipe you may need more water.
Result yum! - fresh baked bread and it smells so delicious when it's baking. Eat and enjoy :)


Rachel said...

Oh my god. The frosting on those cupcakes looks perfect.

Christina said...

Honey, you will do wonderfully with adding those prints to your etsy shop. That print in the picture has my name on it! Hint, hint.

Thank you for posting the recipe. Yum!

Did you say cupcakes?! Omg! What kind are these??
Simple taste much better.

Martina said...

Yay! You're back! I am a serious cupcake fiend but am on a major health roll at the mo so am not baking at all...these make my mouth water!

stephanie said...

Yum! and Yum! Your cupcakes look excellent and thank you for that recipe. Simple is great, so I love that.
Have a good one!

elk said...

baking ALWAYS makes everything better and these look mouthwatering..your shop photo looks wonderful as well

Liss said...

Hi, just discovered your blog and love your cooking and photos.

after reading your post I would say you photo prints arn't turning out the same as what you see on screen because your screen isn't calibrated.

You can by software on line or on ebay called "Spyder II express" they are not expensive and the will calibrate your screen to the correct colour. Now when I get prints I know it's not my issue and I wont go back to that photo lab if they don't turn out.

I hope this info helps you.

Relyn said...

Oh, you've made me want to bake. I do love a good cupcake. And homemade bread is pure comfort. Plus, your images are making me swoon. I'll have to go visit your Etsy shop soon.