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My Beatles-inspired baking challenge: Eight bakes a week


Eight bakes a week
I love you
Eight bakes a week
Is not enough to show I care 

It’s been a busy week in my kitchen. After baking two things in one day (hello, dishes), I decided to give myself a Beatles-inspired challenge: eight bakes a week.

It sounded like a good idea on day one and, after a few last-minute recipe searches, it was mission accomplished at the final hour. I tried to lay off the sweets and sink into the breads, breakfasts and savoury treats.

Here’s how my week went down.

Monday

Focaccia is always a winner in my house. I went for three different flavours: my trusty toppings of fresh tomato and parmesan and an experiment of sun-dried tomato. All good, but fresh tomato focaccia is my fave (with a little parm since it’s already grated). The herbs (rosemary, thyme and oregano) kneaded into the dough make it extra nice.

Focaccia

Focaccia

Oatcakes made another appearance. Two weeks ago I rolled the batch thick and only got one dozen oatcakes out of a single recipe. I added cheddar to these babies and decided to make a double batch and roll them thinner so they’d be crispier. It’d only be a mistake if we didn’t love them. The thinner, double batch gave me 150 delicious oatcakes! We finally finished them on Saturday. I think I’ll stick to a thinner, single batch from now on.

You can find the recipe for these bad boys here.

Cheddar oatcakes

Cheddar oatcakes

Tuesday

Sourdough bread may seem ‘hipster’ and ‘having its moment’, but sourdough bread used to be just… bread. Before packaged yeast existed, leavened bread was all sourdough (as far as I know). Everyone who baked had a sourdough culture at home and used it for fresh bread. You can find decades-old starters, but mine is homemade from rye flour and water (it’s now fed plain white flour and water) and just celebrated three years of life. Happy birthday, sourdough!

Sourdough bread

Sourdough bread

Wednesday

Wednesday was another ambitious double bake/make day.

First up was the ‘make’: butter. It was my first time making butter, but it couldn’t be easier. A tub of cream, the whisk attachment to my stand mixer and a splash guard and, after a few minutes, you’ve got butter. You’ve also got buttermilk, which is the byproduct of butter. The cream whips up to whipped cream, thickens, and all the sudden it separates into butter and buttermilk. Magic.

The buttermilk was used for my bake of the day: buttermilk scones. Easy enough and oh so tasty. They were slathered with my homemade butter and enjoyed with some strawberry jam I made a few weeks ago. I made some full-size scones and some mini, because mini food is awesome and comes with less guilt.

Homemade butter & buttermilk scones

Homemade butter & buttermilk scones

Thursday

My only full-meal bake of the week was shepherd’s pie. Veggie, of course. I used the previous day’s mash for the topping and made the filling with lentils, carrots and celery. Some leftover mushroom gravy and peas went on top. It was tasty, simple and, sadly, gone. Sorry, no pic, but it will definitely be cooked again.

Saturday

The weekend meant breakfast treats. First up was Saturday’s breakfast of sourdough pancakes. I’d intended to make more sourdough bread on Friday, but realised I couldn’t fit it in to my day, so I used my already prepared sourdough starter for pancakes. Scrumptious and very moreish, they were devoured with my butter and jam. I meant to freeze some for quick toaster breakfasts during the week, but didn’t manage to save any. I think they’ll be a good use of sourdough starter from now on – the starter doubles every time it’s fed, so it grows quickly and excess is usually tossed. I’ve already set aside some starter to make more pancakes tomorrow morning.

Sourdough pancakes

Sourdough pancakes

Sunday

My home stretch dish was Sunday’s breakfast of crumpets. They didn’t quite look like store-bought crumpets (not necessarily a bad thing) but they were definitely tasty. Again, butter and jam featured. The recipe made about two dozen, so I was able to save a few. Yippee! I know what I’m having for breakfast this week.

Crumpets

Crumpets

Is eight bakes too much for one week? All I know is that no one’s going hungry in this house!

Anyone else gone on a baking extravaganza or is it just me?

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