THE VIOLET BAKERY COOKBOOK
One of the more exciting baking books to hit the shelves of late, it was a real treat to finally get stuck into The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak. The ginger snaps were glorious, I loved the practicality of her cinnamon buns (an "altogether different" quick-bread-style bun developed because "at Violet we have never had enough space to work with yeasted doughs"), and the braised fennel, olive and caper bread pudding was a fantastic way to enjoy day-old bread (the perennial "what to do...?" of any baker). And, of course, it wouldn't have been a true Violet Bake if there wasn't just a slice or two of ginger molasses cake...
Braised fennel, olive & caper bread pudding
Ginger molasses cake
Another stunner to finally get the attention it deserves was Olia Hercules' beautiful first book, Mamushka. Filled with traditional family recipes from Ukraine and beyond it's an enlightening look into a culinary culture I know little about. Soups were the flavour of the month - a delicious mushroom and buckwheat broth featured alongside a strange but tasty gherkin, beef and barley number, which also had some plump Pampushky (a Ukranian garlic bread) to accompany it.
Mushroom broth wih buckwheat
Pampushky (Ukranian garlic bread)
Rassol'nyk (gherkin, beef & barley broth)
After a brief hiatus bread club was back with Hamelman's pain au levain with whole wheat flour. While getting better at judging the hydration and prove times I then proceeded to get the loaves stuck in the bannetons and score them terribly so, you know, swings and roundabouts... Still, a tasty loaf with a nice crust and, as always, good to see how the other bakers interpreted it.
Hamelman's pain au levain with whole wheat flour