Pa de Sant Antoni (savoury, with sourdough)

The crumb of a plaited Saint Anthony's bread

After my first attempt at a Pa de Sant Antoni and realising that it was sweeter than I remembered it, I decided to develop a recipe for a savoury version.

I was also really determined that it had to be a plaited bread, which inevitably forces you to use a less wet dough so you can handle and shape it without losing your wits.

The result, once baked, has less definition in the plait than I’d like, but I am very pleased with the bread itself nonetheless. The crumb was quite open, and the anise flavour was there to give it the air of an special bread. I also practiced “painting” the surface with water to give it a smoother surface, and it worked! It felt a bit like biting into a brioche. Quite interesting!

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Sourdough wholemeal focaccia

Wholemeal focaccia, baked

I like to cycle flours quickly so that they’re always as fresh as possible and don’t go rancid or off (quite important if you’re using organic flours which have not been treated with chemical products and so have more chances to ‘breed life’).

I had a lot of Hodmedod’s YQ wholemeal flour which I wanted to use, but I wanted to try something different to the usual wholemeal loaf.

I thought of making a focaccia, which is very easy to make, but they’re normally made with white flour. Using wholemeal flour might sound like a heresy when the first idea that comes to mind about focaccia is a soft white fluffy dough, but the result surprised me—it was moist and full of flavour.

But I had nothing to lose, and much to find out!

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An explosion, way before Guy Fawkes night

Yesterday night, we were finishing dinner and then I started noticing something. Some sort of noise. I asked Devvers: “did you hear that?” No, nothing.

Of course I started suspecting it must be mice, because it’s London and because it’s getting cold, so it’s obvious it would be mice.

I entered the kitchen, already indignant with the mice for daring to be in the kitchen, making weird noises when we were around and the lights were on! The nerve of them!

But I didn’t see any mice. It was all clear.

And yet I kept hearing that weird, indeterminate sound. What was going on?

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Self isolation, week 8: the known classics, the new classics

We resorted to two types of ‘classics’ this week:

  1. the known classics: the dishes we like and who never disappoint
  2. the new classics: classic dishes we’ve eaten in restaurants, but not made ourselves before

It was a really good break from the extremely anxiety inducing messaging coming from the pinnacle of ineptitude hanging out in number 10…

🙄 *collective eye roll* 🙄

In other news, the local shops seem to have gone back to pre-lockdown and pre-stockpiling stock levels. They even had eggs! And toilet paper! But it is still very stressful to go to the shops.

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