Paul’s Pantry, “LOL”

A good days baking, I got up this morning itching to get started on making some Malted brown loaves, having received the malted flour and fresh bakers yeast yesterday. So I used a general bread recipe I.e. :

700g strong plain bread flour, 300g malted brown bread flour, 20g salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, 20g fresh yeast and approx 650grams of water.

Basically mix all the above ingredients together, I use a machine to do most of it because my hand hurt with to much kneading, then I turn the dough out onto my work surface and knead a little, then put it back into a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to prove.

Malted bread dough.
Covered malted bread dough
After about one hour of proving I put the dough onto my work surface, divide into three, gently fold each piece in on itself forming a tight ball or long baton trapping air into the folds and then putting each peice into a floured bread basket to prove again, cover and leave approx 1 more hour.

After an hour has passed and the dough has doubled in size, I turn the dough out onto a pre-heated baking tray and score the top of each loaf with a sharp blade, then bake for approx 40-45mins in a hot oven approximately 200c.

First two out
All three now done

These turned out beautifully can’t wait to taste them, but what shall we have with it? Well I’ve been fancying a Quiche, so that’s what we will have. Now I watch all these food programs that give all these rules I.e, you must use a certain flour, or you must blind bake the case first etc…. well I worked in catering from boy to man at a high level and if we followed all those rules then half the jobs would never get done. So this is a recipe that has always served me well, I’ve had complements wether it’s served as a luncheon, a bar snack, a buffet or starter, it always goes done well.

The pastry is an alrounder, in other words you can use it for anything, if it’s for a sweet dish then I leave out the salt but add 4 oz of caster sugar, it’s easy and quick to make. So obviously Quiche is savoury so this is our pastry recipe:

1 lb Self Raiseing Flour, 8 oz Butter or Margerine, pinch of salt, and approx 1/3rd of a pint of water. Now put the flour and salt into a bowl rub in the butter/margarine, then gradually add enough water to bring it all together into a ball, you can now refrigerate the pastry whilst you prepare the other ingredients

Flour, butter & salt.
Fat rubbed in.
Finished pastry dough

I’m making one red onion quiche, and two leek & courgette quiches, so my ingredients are 20 oz Chedder cheese, 12 eggs, 1/2pt milk, and for the toppings, 1 red onion, 1 leek, and 1 courgette, also a little oil/butter/margarine just for cooking.
I start by peeling the red onion and cutting it in half and slicing it thinly, I put that to gently cook in a little oil or butter to soften the onions, then remove and cool, then I grate the courgette and wash and prepare the leek before finely chopping it and again cooking in a little oil or butter before leaving to cool. Now grate all the Chedder cheese,  break the eggs into a jug and beat with the milk, then everything is ready to put together.

The filling ingredients.
Sliced red onion
Onion & leek.
Cooked red onion.
Cooked red onion.
Grated Cheddar Cheese.
Now that we have all our ingredients prepared, I divide the pastry into three, I then roll out each peice to line three quiche dishes, one 9 inch one 8 inch and one 7 inch, they are just the dishes I have as my wife accidentally broke my nice glass one, but you could use one big dish or two medium size ones really what ever you have got.
dishes I inherited from my parents.
Lined dishes

With the dishes now lined, divide the grated cheese between them, top two the leek & courgette and one with the red onion, then season with salt and pepper and then pour on the milk and egg mix dividing it amongst the three dishes. Now put them on a under tray in case of spillage, and place into the oven I cook at 160c for the first 15-20 minutes just to set the quiche then about 25 minutes at 180c, they will be nice and golden when cooked, remove from the oven and enjoy either hot or cold. You can use any toppings and even use different cheeses just experiment.

Filling in.
Egg & milk on
Cooked ready to eat.
Red onion
A good days baking.

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into my day in the kitchen, I feel inspired to do something else now, “now what can I cook next” lol.

Home baked bread.

My order of fresh bakers yeast arrived today so I just could not resist getting going with baking some loaves, and here is the finished results, very tasty.

I love baking bread it’s so therapeutic, and extremely tasty, I will now be producing all our own bread, and no longer purchase the shop bread, it’s something I enjoy doing, I also want the garden to produce more for us, for preserving. Supporting our own local markets instead of just using the supermarkets, the fruit & Veg is usually local seasonal and not wrapped in all that plastic.

Well it’s just a short blog as it’s been a hectic day, had some tree surgeons turn up who cut down and removed a huge eucalyptus tree that had got out of hand in our garden, now it’s all gone it’s as if someone has opened a window in the garden the extra light is amazing.

Now & Then.

Well my bread starter is all ready now, and not wanting to waste any I used the throw off for making some lovely sourdough naan breads, which will make a great accompaniment for a vegetable curry I have just made up, that’s dinner sorted with enough naan breads to freeze for another day. Tomorrow I will start making some sourdough loaves, I want to plan to bake once or twice a week, so I can freeze a couple of loaves, I will take some photos when I get them out of the oven. Sourdough bread is an amazing product and you can make fabulous cheese on toast with it, great too used to top a home made French onion soup, it’s making me hungry just thinking about it.

Sourdough naan breads.

I don’t know why I am so fearful and panicky about leaving the house or going away, and trying something new to do? why do I have to have a meltdown about these things? When I think back to how I was running busy kitchens, I could run extensive menus sometimes even on my own and most of the time with just my wife and I. At one particular restaurant I had an a’la carter menu with 36 main course dishes on it, plus starters and deserts and a daily menu with about 20 dishes of the day, freshly caught fish etc…and all cooked to order, I particularly excelled at fish, but I was just as enthusiastic about any of the kitchen sections, and had a good reputation in south Devon and was head hunted by many a restaurant/hotel. I could walk in and take over any struggling kitchen and turn it around, and I sometimes long for that life still, I was good a what I did – but now I am a shadow of that person, and I want my old self back, even a bit of the old me would be an immense difference.

Though I enjoyed all the sections of the kitchen, my biggest love would have to be buffet work, there is nothing more frilling than preparing a buffet and receiving the praise as the customers ask how you managed to prepare such masterpieces.

My early memories of buffet work was watching my father preparing dishes for the gastronomic festival in south Devon, at a place called the Marine spare in the late 1960s I think it was then that I really decided that I wanted to be a chef. My father always entered the fish section with salmon garnished with truffles and set in aspic jelly, but It was when he developed a pastry that you could use for sculpture work that he became well known for, appearing in the local papers with a large article “a working chef at Christmas” also westward TV did a program on him and his pastry work. Yes my father was a great inspiration to me!

Salmon entered into the gastronomic festival approx: 1969
Clown made from pastry.