Archive for September, 2013

Blog September 2013

Posted on: September 29th, 2013 by Harriet Low No Comments

September 2013

I hope you have all been enjoying the new website. Thanks for all the amazing comments you have sent me, I am really chuffed you like it. I have been particularly pleased with the brilliant response to the Ask Paul page, we have had so many great questions. If you have sent one in then please do keep checking each week to see if your question appears. One of the most popular questions we have had has been regarding gluten-free baking. I know that these days so many people struggle to tolerate gluten, and that at the moment the flavour of a lot of the gluten-free options available do not really stand up against regular bread and cakes. I appreciate this is a problem for so many of you and I am really working hard to create some good alternatives. Until then check out  the Ask Paul page soon for one option.

I have had an incredibly busy time this month filming all over the country for my new show Pies and Puds. At the start of the month I travelled up to bonnie Scotland searching for local recipes, and learning about the heritage behind them. During my trip had I fantastic fun playing cowboys on a Buffalo farm and even met a tiny buffalo called Silver Fox, apparently named after me! I also got the chance to pretend to be a fisherman, fishing and smoking langoustines, and hanging out on the beach learning all about different types of seaweed. I rounded off my trip perfecting the art of the perfect espresso. For the last week I have been back in the kitchen, using my newfound knowledge to cook up some tasty delights for the show. Tune in to BBC2 this autumn to see the results.

In between filming for the new show I have been out and about meeting fellow bakers at food festivals both in the UK and abroad. I visited historical Stratford-Upon-Avon for the Stratford Food Festival, and then flew all the way to South Africa for the Cape Gourmet Food Festival. SA is simply stunning and I had so much fun hanging out with Australian Masterchef Judge Gary Mehigan. If you would like to come and see me bake then do check out the calendar pages to find out if I am going to be appearing at a baking show near you soon.

And finally, something for all of you watching The Great British Bake Off. Fancy having a go at this week’s technical challenge, my Apricot Couronne? The recipe will be Recipe of the Week next week, have a go and see if you can produce a star bake like Ruby.

Bye Paul x

Apricot Couronne

Posted on: September 29th, 2013 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. The night before, for the filling, put the apricots into a bowl, pour on the orange juice and set aside to macerate.

2. The next day, 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 the egg and turn the mixture around with your fingers. Continue to mix until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until you have a soft dough.

3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for about 6 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft smooth skin.

4. When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – at least 1 hour, but it’s fine to leave it for 2 or even 3 hours.

5. While the dough is rising,  make the filling. Drain the apricots. Cream the butter and muscovado sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the drained apricots, flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest.

6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.

7. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Without knocking it back, roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 33 x 25cm. Turn the dough 90° if necessary, so you have a long edge facing you. Spread the apricot mixture evenly over the dough. On a floured surface, roll out the marzipan thinly and lay it over the apricot mixture. Roll up the dough tightly like a Swiss roll. Roll it slightly to seal, then cut it almost in half lengthways, leaving it just joined at one end – like a pair of legs. Twist the 2 dough lengths together, then join the ends to form a circular ‘crown’. Transfer to the baking tray.

8. Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for 1 hour, or until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200°C

9. Bake the couronne for 25 minutes until risen and golden. Place on a wire rack. Gently heat the apricot jam with a splash of water, sieve and brush 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 flaked almonds. Leave to cool.