Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Belated Happy Easter wishes to you all - I hope that you all had a good break. Over the weekend I finished testing all the recipes for the Sundae book and spent several days writing it up so that now the whole book is drafted, just a fair amount of editing needed but at least the end is very clearly in sight. It has been such a nice project to work on and I am really looking forward to the photoshoots in May as I know they will transform my recipes! Last Thursday my friend Susan and I decided to make hot cross buns using Susan's "prove in the fridge overnight" method. I have to say I was fairly skeptical that it would work (although she assured me it would) as I had always thought that bread needed to be in a warm place to rise. I was of course proved completely wrong! When we had made our dough, and this would work for any form of yeast bread I think, we left it to rise in the fridge overnight. The next morning, the dough was beaten down and kneaded and then shaped into buns and left to rise again and then baked. As you will see from the bowl of dough in the fridge the rising was fairly impressive even at such a cool temperature. The dough was light and had a rich taste - presumably from the rising taking place so slowly. So next time you are making bread, why not give this overnight method a try. It makes for a delicious fresh bread breakfast without having to get up super early to make and prove your dough!


Stately As Two Galleons said...

Well, you learn something every day. I'm going to send a link to this to my friend, who's developed a bread-making passion over the last few months. She's always ready to try something new.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and that the Easter bunny was good to you.

The Ample Cook said...

They look brilliant. Who'd have thought it?

I put a lemon drizzle cake in the oven at a much lower temp than I should have done - thought oh here goes and turned it up to the right temp. You know what? It rose like it's never risen before.

Rita said...

Hi Hannah .... I have the most fantastic cinnamon roll recipe. I make it up, put it in the freezer, take it out over night to rise and bake the next morning. Also thought that it would never work.

Lucy said...

Congratulations on finishing the book! The cold rising technique sounds very interesting and probably much easier than finding a warm place. Plus, the finished buns look marvellous :)

Anonymous said...

I learnt recently that heat kills yeast but cold wont,you can freeze fresh yeast and take it out as you need it.Apparently bread left in the fridge overnight to rise has an even better texture than when placed in a warm place.

Elke said...

Hi Hannah,

the overnight method is being used by artisan breakmakers here in Cork for years. I had the pleasure of meeting Declan Ryan of Arbutus Bread in Cork and he is using this method since he started although he has a commercial 'fridge'.