Baking

Flourless chocolate cake

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Flourless gluten free chocolate cake

I made this for Christmas Day because, pretend as we do, nobody in this family really likes Christmas pudding. There's no point persevering with the lie anymore, so we did something different, and it was a vast improvement on the traditional bowl of stodge. This is our new Christmas pudding. The absence of flour makes [...]

Food & drink

Pane di Como, or Italian country bread

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Como bread, traditional Italian country bread from Lake Como.

Most of the bread I bake follows a fairly standard pattern. I've got a couple of staple recipes, one for an everyday loaf that works well for white or whole grain and any variation in between and a couple of ways with sourdough, too. The everyday loaf is the most versatile, and it can easily [...]

Food & drink

Panmarino, or Italian rosemary bread

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Panmarino, or Italian rosemary bread

I made a pain au levain the other week, a French sourdough shaped like a torpedo, and full of glorious air holes, encased in a brittle crust. It was a textbook example of why 'slow is best' when it comes to baking bread. The levain, or starter, was set up the night before, giving it a [...]

Food & drink

Finnish pulla buns

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Finnish Pulla buns

Here's something a little different - a sweetened dough from the Nordic countries, particularly Finland. It's the Northern European version of brioche, a bread dough packed with butter and sugar, stuffed with a variety of fruits, creams and spices, as the baker sees fit. Pulla buns are best made as enormous, fist-sized wedges, each looking [...]

Food & drink

5 reasons to bake your own bread

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5 reasons to bake your own bread

You know what's in it - bread is only flour, water, yeast and salt. That's it. That's all you need to make a world-class loaf. Have a look at the ingredients listed on the side of a commercial loaf and ask yourself whether all of those things are really necessary, or are they there just [...]

Food politics