Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My try at a Great British Bake Off Contestant.

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, ( yes that is their real names.) are judges for the Great British Bake Off. I've mentioned the show before here.
While going through some of the recipes at BBC Food, I went directly to Paul Hollywood recipes. You see I'm trying very hard to become a better bread maker, and he seems to be a bread making magician. I've watched the Masterclasses on Youtube and try and listen and follow his technique. I've had success so far.
Today I thought I'd share this one with you its Apricot Couronne. Now the written recipe from the site has a mistake. First the amount of flour is way off. It says 250 grams, it should read 3 cups of flour.
The recipe is also in metric and yes as Canadians we should know this, but I still use the old fashioned way....good old cups, tsp, and tbsp. I'm not sure who tried to convert it, but even thats confusing. So here goes my conversion. Feel free to post any mistakes you find that I missed. Happy Baking :)

* Bakers Note-I did change fruit for more of a Christmas filled Couonne. And I can tell you that it really wasn't that hard to make and it does look impressive (I think) that its a twisted bread.


Apricot Couronne.

3 cups white flour
1tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/3 cup butter softened
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dried apricots (this is where I changed my fruit for the season to cherries, and currents)
soaked in Orange Juice (just to cover)
2 tbsp of flour
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 walnuts
zest of one orange.

To finish
1/3 apricot jam
3/4 cup icing sugar
almonds to sprinkle

Preparation method

  1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, milk and egg and mix to combine, using your hands. Continue to mix until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. Use the dough to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until you have a soft dough.
  2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 10-12 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.
  3. When the dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. While the dough is rising, make the filling. Beat the butter and muscovado sugar together until smooth. Drain the apricots and add to the butter mixture along with the flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest. Mix to combine.
  5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.
  6. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Taking care not to knock the air out of it, roll out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 33x25cm/13x10in. Turn the dough 90 degrees if necessary, so you have a long edge facing you. Spread the apricot mixture evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly (like a Swiss roll). Roll it slightly to seal, then cut it in half lengthways (you can leave one end joined to help you twist the dough and form the circular crown).
  7. Twist the two dough lengths together to make a rope, then join the ends of the rope to form a circular ‘crown’. Transfer to the baking tray.
  8. Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for 30-45mins, or until the dough springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  9. Bake the couronne for 25-35 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
  10. Gently heat the apricot jam with a splash of water, then sieve it and brush it over the warm loaf to glaze. Mix the icing sugar with enough water to make a thin icing, drizzle over the loaf and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Leave to cool before serving.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


 Ok so this has nothing to do with Midnight and sometimes I just don't have a title for these posts. But black is involved, so I'm not all crazy.
I am once again finished a project that I started, oh so long ago. So long ago that I can't even find a before picture anywhere. What I can tell you is, that I bought it at Habitat. I know M'lynn and Roger were with me. I know I got a great deal on it, and I know that I really liked it.

It was a tired little piece that needed a little pizzaz. Now I like things painted black however, Isaac does not. After waxing things painted black, it has a tendency to show finger prints and it drives him crazy. Having a clean room.... not so much, but finger prints... go figure. So beware if you ever go this route with black and wax, it needs to be buffed quite a bit.

I like its curvy legs and I decided to leave the knobs as is. I like the contrast, and the fact that they are kind of beat up.

I didn't distress this one either, I'm going to let it continue to grow old gracefully. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Procrastination at its Finest

I bought this is March.....2012.

And I quickly did this to it. Tore it apart and painted and distressed the wood.

Then it sat...... and sat...... and sat.
It moved in and out of  the house with the seasons. My not so patient husband was actually patient. Probably because I had it in the house more then out in the garage.
It wasn't like I didn't want to finish it, but I had grown into a love/hate relationship with it. No sooner had I stapled things in place, that I ripped it back off. It just didn't sit right.
Curves became my arch enemy. So I decided to ignore it till a light bulb went off.

Then I decided to have my family for Christmas this year, annnd I'm sure they'd like to sit somewhere, so I could put it off no longer. Out in the garage it went and wasn't coming in, till it was done. It came in last night at 9 o'clock.

Its not prefect, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not a professional.

The fabric I think was picked out in 2011 by Roger. It was a deal at buy one, get two free.

See its smiling at me!

So what took me over a year to "think" about took me less then a day to do.
My hand hurts, I smashed my knee and I stapled my finger not once but twice in the making of this project, but in the end I'm happy, sore... but happy! :)