THE RAIN

We had a lot of rain for the past few days, in fact, it was raining every day, staying in was the answer luckily we did not have any appointments.
The sound of the rain was beautiful and looking at the misty rain that day by the kitchen window made me feel so nostalgic but also good.  Especially the greens scenery that I could see from inside the house.
The garden is so green and lush, and all the plants are so happy growing well.

Beautiful flowering Hydrangea bushes, I could tell how grateful they are sitting on the wet and moist soil, thanks to the rain. They love water, they thrive on a cooler part of the place.

The vegetable patch with a few tomato plants growing, and they are not disappointing, they are very promisingly, this year we will have the harvest I am sure, could be it is the year of tomato.
A friend mentions that her vegetable garden is doing very well particularly the tomato plants.

Here they are some tomatos growing in the vegetable patch and another is potted.

Rayner is checking the vegetable garden, he feels so important to be able to participate working in the garden since his retirement.   Gardening could be addictive and therapeutic.

To have a good rain is a blessing, but not too much, because flooding is not needed.  So far the rain looks after and nourish all the plants and keeps us cool.

A cool springtime with the rain is very enjoyable indeed not only for us but all the members in the garden.

Until Next Post

Susi

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Brioche for Breakfast

It is a treat to have a hot breakfast,  poached asparagus with eggs to start and followed by black coffee and a warm brioche freshly baked from the kitchen.

This is how I prepare and bake brioches using the new recipe.
First I make the leaven the night before

The leaven is ready, it looks so good and strong, and ready for the dough making

In the morning preparing the dough.

The quantities ingredients for the Dough

500 g plain flour
250 g mixed salted and unsalted butter softened
2/3 cups castor sugar
10 g salt
1 dessertspoon dry yeast
140 g leaven
5 eggs
1 tablespoons vanilla sugar
(IT MAKES 1266 G DOUGH)

The process of mixing the ingredients to make the dough  

In the afternoon bake the brioches.
Shaping the dough, to make classic brioche and mini brioches

The look of the dough after resting in the fridge, and ready for shaping

 Proof the dough for one hour and 30 minutes, cover with a damp clean tea towel.  Prior baking, brush the dough with lightly beaten egg.  Bake in a hot oven at 170 C.  The classic brioches for 33 minutes and for the mini brioches bake for 16 minutes, until they golden brown.            

It works every time, it’s so easy to do, with the new recipe what you have to do, put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix all together (I use an electric mixer). until smooth.  Beat or knead at high speed for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and shiny.

The day that I decided to bake the brioche and using the new recipe was great and worked beautifully.  It was a successful baking day,  we tasted it for an afternoon tea.    the Brioche freezes well and  I  kept the rest in the freezer.  Whenever we need it, simply take it out to defrost and warm up, and is ready for our breakfast.

Gallery
Brioches Baked Today in My Kitchen

I love the new recipe, it is easier and more practical.

I used the leaven and also dry yeast, that created a lighter crumb.  The brioches looked good and golden brown.
Asparagus is in season now, it is easily available in the market and we could have it daily.  For a variation, I love to have the brioche with jam, and fresh fruit aside.
Brioche for Breakfast and served with Black coffee is a Beautiful Breakfast any days.

 

 

Until Next Post

Susi

 

 

 

Beautiful Bread

 

SOURDOUGH BREAD

The best sourdough bread I ever baked. After trial and trial for many times, at last, I have made it. I am so pleased and proud, but unfortunately, I have no recipe for you. I am happily sharing the pictures of the making and the baking. And here they are.

The sourdough starter prepared by me, with my own quantities of ingredients, and the process of making maybe not the same with others, but it works beautifully for my bread making.
For this particular batch of sourdough bread, I used a little too much of sourdough starter I may have, I prepared and baked it without following any recipe but I did it by following my knowledge how to bake sourdough bread.
Indeed it worked beautifully, the look, the texture is beautiful as sourdough bread should be. One day I like to share with you a recipe or at least the quantities of ingredients to make a good sourdough bread.

I read, an expert says a recipe in itself does not guarantee a good loaf.  They are so many variables that affect a good sourdough bread, from the kind of flour to the amount it is handled, to the weather on the day. ( These are things that a recipe cannot be accountable).
Baking a beautiful loaf is about more than just the practical external factors.  To make a really great sourdough you need the ability to judge the dough; to know it, understand it, feel it and instinctively correct or modify your technique on any given day.
Personally, I agree what the expert suggests and says. Once you understand sourdough then you will always bake a great loaf.

I do think  I understand what sourdough is all about, but I will keep on learning and improve.  I am very passionate about baking sourdough bread the good loaf.

Beautiful Bread Baked in My Kitchen.

Until Next Post

Susi

Beautiful Spring

Flowers are everywhere, in the garden, in the field, on the farm, along roadsides, in the bush. They are blooming, shining, lighting the places celebrating the Spring.

 

My Beautiful Flowers of My Garden.

Enjoy cutting the flowers in my backyard, they are amazingly colourful.  Love these beauties and I am so Pleased and Proud to share this picture with you.

Gorgeous Flowers: Angel Rose, Iceberg, Red, Orange, and Blue Moon Roses. Dutch Iris, Purple Sage, Jasmine, Nasturtium, Crean Clivia, Red Geranium, Orange Geranium, Abutilon-Red Emperor, and Herbs-Green Parsley-Borac and Rosemary, Dames Rocket.

I invite you all to celebrate a happy and colourful spring day with flowers today.

Happy Spring Day All, Enjoy!

 

Until Next Post

Susi

As You Like It

The rain was so heavy last night, and now the garden is very wet, but it is good for fertilizing, so I did this afternoon.  All fruit and citrus trees had the goodies, hopefully, they will be growing strong, and well. I was good to make the best of the situation.  Soon the job was done, the rain came again, just the way I like it.  Watering by hand was not needed

Craving for something sweets is OK, it was not the right time to have trifle but Christmas did come early in our home.  We had the trifle as we liked it, and I was so pleased sharing it with our dear friend the ninety-three years old Eileen.

Home cooking is very important for our family and me.  You know what you are having and what is in it.  However, one could get tired and not want to be cooking but frozen food could be the rescue.  Poached prawns dim sums were so good, they were frozen bought one, but they were so delicious just the way we liked it.

Stay in, the weather was so miserably wet, the rains did not want to stop.  You could do so much inside the house of course, but for dinner, hot homemade pizza would be a treat.  Our pizza is always special, we prepare it just the way we like it.
Today we had a crusty pizza with anchovies and olive topping, simply delicious.

Maybe it is not a traditional pizza, but it’s the way I like it.

Following recipes could be a pain but could get an excellent result from the experts.  This time I decided to bake sourdough bread just the way I like it in regard to the making of the leaven, the technique how to knead to shape., and to score.  However, I must say that the core what to do in sourdough baking I must still follow with respect.
The night before I prepared the leaven, made out from sourdough starter, water and flower (no measurement), approx: 50g flour and 55 water and 1/2 teaspoon dried yeast.  I mixed them together and cover with plastic, and leave on the kitchen bench for overnight.  By morning the leaven was looking beautiful, and ready to be used for the bread making.

In the morning at 8.30, I started to organise all the ingredients that are needed, the plain flour, water, salt.  I liked to have 500g plain flour, 9g salt, and 225g water.
The fun begun by mixing half of the water to the leaven stirred and mixed together nicely.  Added to the dough, and mix together with a spoon, add a little bit more of the water, and kept on stirring to make the dough soft.  Add in the last drop of the water, and mixed again and now the dough looked like this.
I worked gently with this mixture by smoothing the dough with a spoon.  Now the dough has to rest. It’s covered with a damp cloth and let proof for one hour.

After prooving for one hour, the dough looked soft and increase in size a little.  Time to temper the dough, to pull instead to knead, that what I did, just took two minutes.  Keep the dough inside the bowl while you do the pulling.
 
The dough had to rest to prove again, and covered with a damp cloth for thirty minutes.
  Now the dough looked smoother and soft to touch.
I had to do the same four time and proof in between for 30 minutes.

At the end of the 6th proofing, the dough becomes soft, smooth and elastic.

I baked one single large Boule, for that reason I did not to cut the dough, instead, I knead lightly by pulling method and place at the lined basket.  That was the final proofing and took  1-2 hours.  Be sure that it did not overproof otherwise the bread will be collapsed.
Baking Time.
Baked in a hot oven, at 225 degrees C
Transfer the dough from the basket to a lined baking tray.
Score the bread as you like it before baking
Splash some water inside the hot oven, prior to baking
Put the ready bread in the oven, and bake the bread for 22 minutes
Lower the temperature of the oven, and continue baking for 22 minutes.
My bread-the Boule was not dark enough, the crust was hard and sound hollow when it was tapped.
The bread was chewy, but the crust became soft.
(it could be I did not transfer the bread from the baking tray to the cooling tray straight away).
 I did it just the way I like it,(it’s more fun) and the result was not too bad, it cut well and taste good.
The family will have the bread with any topping just as they like it.
It was fun baking the sourdough bread, indeed I followed the technique of experts but somehow I loved it, It worked well.   Just the way I like it.

Having things as you love, Do things as you wish to do, the way you like are more relaxing.  I love the philosophy ‘As You Like it” especially to make easy for yourself and others happy or happier.

 

 

Until Next Post

Susi

 

 

Spring in the Backyard.

Plants are springing, roses are looking healthy this year and the crabapple blossoming magnificently. Herbs and flowering plants are giving me promise, I am looking forward to enjoying them and spending time in the backyard.

Beautiful Blossom and the Wisteria is at its best.

Sadly the clivia potted plant got frost burnt last winter, but luckily the flower buds stay well and healthy.  Now the stems are getting longer by day, I shall have a lot of flowers, and they could be better to use them as the cut flowers.

Fruit trees, the apple tree survive winter well and the potted espalier starts showing off the leaves and the flowers.  Love the rustic look of the leave this Peonie rose.

Potted herbs are lovely and I am hoping the vegetable patch will accommodate all my plants very well this time, thinking to grow tomatoes, hot chilli and beans.

More greens and flowers.  By the end of October, the backyard will be more colours, and it is very joyful to see.

I hope your garden is flourishing this time of the year, Springtime can be fun, all my very best to you all.  Enjoy the Season!

 

Until Next Post

Susi