Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Great Bake-Off - Bread!

Firstly I have to apologise for my absence. I did plan to post about my bake-off recipe yesterday, but we had a three-hour powercut to our building which not only took away the wondrous internet, but also made trying to create two bake-off creations tricky - Hamish had fortunately made a start in the morning so his dough had time to rise, but I had to amend my recipe to one using baking powder instead of yeast. Not only were we pressed for time making our carb-packed goodies, but our internet (and phone, as we use VoIP) didn't come back. Turns out the powercut caused a surge which fried our router, so after a trip to Dick Smith to get a new one we are finally back online (though my iPhone enabled me to suppress withdrawal symptoms ;-) ).

Anyway, excuses aside... Last night was the second edition of the Wellington chapter of the bake-off event, where a theme is chosen and everyone challenges themselves and brings something in fitting with the theme. With the theme of bread we had timed it to run over dinnertime, and there were a variety of sweet and savoury offerings. We were all impressed at how varied the options were, and it was fun and we probably all learnt something too!

Mr Cake made these delicious bagels. They were pretty popular. We're pretty sure (maybe Sylvia will verify in the comments!) that these won the 'Best Savoury' category. These are definitely going to be made again - they were pretty easy (once the power came back on!) and though perhaps not perfect still very good - and cheap.

Mark's offering was the other savoury option - he called it fuglycaccia, as he apparently didn't approve of it's looks. I don't think it's particularly unpleasant-looking, though, and anything lacking in appearance was well and truly made up for in taste. I thought this had the best leavening. It won the category of 'Ugliest bread', which was invented by Mark. Hmm...

Julia made krentebollen, which are apparently eaten by the Dutch for breakfast, sometimes with cheese, so they straddle the sweet/savoury divide. Tasty either way! They were pretty popular.

Charles and Sally brought banana bread, which was moist and delicious.

Terry and Beth made these very bakery-looking cream buns. They were exactly as a cream bun should be - a nice white bread roll, a shower of icing sugar, and filled with cream and jam that squeezes out when you eat it so it's impossible to remain dignified.

Sylvia made this fantastic cranberry and white chocolate braid. It was soooooo good - with a generous helping of white chocolate in every slice, this was definitely my favourite and won 'Best Sweet Bread', so obviously I wasn't alone. I think it also should have won the 'most eaten' award, as there wasn't much left of this by hometime!

My contribution won me the dubious accolade of 'Most Unhealthy' - not that I was aiming for high nutrition when I chose donuts. They were okay - possibly a bit dry and I had trouble keeping the oil hot enough so some absorbed a bit too much and tasted a tad greasy. I was disappointed I wasn't able to do a yeast-based version - next time, I guess.

A special mention to Sylvia and Mark for hosting - and providing this amazing homemade hummus - the top one is pumpkin and cream cheese, and the bottom one is sundried tomato - they were super tasty with my bagel!

Mark also provided this Not coke for refreshment. It provided some amusement and confusion as it really did look just like coke - but it was Mark's homebrew and Mr Cake can attest to its quality (I'm not a beer fan so leave that to him).

All in all it was a great night - if you were there please comment and tell me what I've missed/forgotten! My donut recipe will be up tomorrow, as I now need to do some ironing (yet another thing that can't be done in a powercut!).

The next bake-off will be hosted by Sally and Charles, and I'll let you know the details when they've been figured out - it'll be in another month or so - but the theme was settled on Saturday night so get your thinking caps on for creative ways to bake with (drumroll, please)... Potatoes!


  1. It's making me hungry all over again just looking at these!

  2. I know! Food blogging is hazardous for the hunger it causes... ;-)


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