Fermented Hot Sauce Mk II

20150420_085424Well looky here, if it’s not another batch of hot sauce.

I’m not going to spend too much time on this one, as I’ve kind of laboured the process in this post: https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/02/05/lactobacillus-and-others-fermented-hot-sauce/ and tasted it here: https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/04/09/lactobacillus-and-others-fermented-hot-sauce-tasting-notes/

So.  This time I used a whole pack of Scotch Bonnets and two or three packs of normal “red chilli peppers” from Sainsburys.  I didn’t put as much water in only added a clove garlic and a whole red bell pepper, and used a little more salt.

The whole thing fermented (and developed an amusing white mould/pellicle/whatever it was – that I scraped off and discarded) and generally did it’s stuff over a period of a month or so.

When the whole lot was starting to look more liquid-ey, I annihilated it in a blender until it was smooth, then strained it (lightly pushing it through the sieve) into a small pan and then briskly boiled it for a couple of minutes.

After that I let it out with a third the volume of spirit vinegar and bottled it up.

Funnily enough, this time around, it doesn’t separate or anything.  It’s a lot hotter, too, and tastes that little bit more Tabasco-authentic.  Nice.

FOOTNOTE: Between this batch and the last one, I learnt why certain things had to happen:

  • The salt prevents any bad stuff (mould, nasty bacteria) from taking hold
  • The lactic fermentation acidifies the sauce to a PH below 3 or 4 or so and this means that it can be kept out of the fridge as nasties can’t survive in such an acidic environment
  • The Vinegar is a bit of crutch to ensure the low PH is achieved.

Maybe before next time I’ll invest in some PH test strips or something – that might help with my all-grain mashing too…

Orange Glow Oaty bread

As is the tradition these days, I’m handing over to Eve to give you another of her bread recipes.  I took the liberty of calling the recipe Orange Glow Oaty Bread a) because it’s my blog  and b) because I’m old enough to remember the Ready Brek adverts of the early eighties!


650ml warm water

30g warmed, soft butter
2tbsp sugar
150g Ready Brek or instant oats
850g white bread flour
2 x (7g) sachets of quick yeast
3 tsp salt
Olive oil, about 20ml in total (10ml for the dough and 10ml for oiling the work surface to prevent sticking)


Add all ingredients to the mixer bowl in the order above, without mixing yet – and also keeping back the oil for a later stage, ensuring that the yeast and the salt are kept apart on different sides of the bowl.

Because all of the ingredients are layered in the bowl – with the water at the bottom and the yeast not getting wet and activated yet – I have found that you can leave it to sit for a couple of hours or so, allowing you to put children to bed/feed the baby/walk the dog, etc.

It also allows time for the warm water to soak into the oats.

Note: If you do decide to leave it to soak for a bit you might need to add a touch more water when at the kneading stage later on…

Using the dough hook, mix on speed 1 for about 3 minutes, stopping every now and then to scrape the dough off the dough hook.

If it looks dry add more water, if a bit wet add more flour.

When the dough, is smooth and elastic and starts to sticks to the dough hook, it should be about right.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, and pour a bit of olive oil (a further 10ml) over the dough whilst scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl with a rubber spatula.  If you can, try and coat the entire dough ball in oil, which will prevent it drying out.

Cover the mixer bowl with a plastic disposable shower cap and put it somewhere warm for at least an hour until the dough doubles in size.  The dough may be a bit slower than normal to rise as the Ready Brek is lower in gluten than the white bread flour, so it slows down the rising process a little.

My dough takes about an hour in the boiler cupboard.  Your mileage will vary…

Oil the work surface and your hands then tip the dough out of the bowl and divide into two.

Flatten each lump of dough into a rectangle and roll it up into a Swiss roll shape – being sure to tuck the ends of the dough underneath.

Place each rolled loaf into a oiled bread tin, inside an upside down carrier bag and put it in a warm place for the second prove.

It took my dough about 35 mins to rise the second time. So, pop the oven on to 200C (fan oven) about 20 minutes into the second prove.

When fully risen, remove from the bags, slash the top of the loaves lengthways and place in to the oven gently, cook for 30 minutes or until the top has a nice nut brown colour and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

When cooked, remove from the tins and allow to cool down on a wire rack.

Enjoy the lovely moist texture and subtle oaty flavour of the loaf.

Homemade Belgian Waffles


See how the yeast works.  That’s what I’m talking about


The finished article…

These last couple of reviews have been mining a rich seam of all things Belgian, so on that theme we’ll once again hand over to my wife for her take on Belgian Waffles.  Yum…

Serves: 4


325ml milk, lukewarm
60g butter, melted plus extra for greasing.
2 -3 tablespoons maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
260g bread flour 
1x 7g packet of dried baker’s yeast


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, making sure that the bowl is big enough – the mixture will increase in size as the yeast goes to work
  2. Stir to combine the ingredients.  It’s OK if the mixture isn’t perfectly smooth
  3. Cover the bowl with clingfilm, or as we do: use a cheap disposable plastic shower cap
  4. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for an hour – the mixture will begin to bubble as the yeast works
  5. After an hour the mixture is ready to use, or you can refrigerate it overnight to let the flavour develop and cook the waffles the following morning
  6. Now preheat your waffle iron. Spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray, or using a pastry brush, smear on melted butter and pour a ladle of batter (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer) onto the center of the iron. Close the lid and bake for the recommended amount of time or until the waffle is golden brown and steam has stopped pouring out of the iron. Our iron takes about 5 to 6 minutes per waffle
  7. Serve immediately, or keep them warm in the oven

Serve with one or a combination of the following: maple syrup, fresh berries, fruit compote, hot chocolate ganache, whipped cream or ice cream…depending on the time of day and how decadent you are feeling.

Eve’s Fruit Bread in a Kenwood Mixer

20131031_070741I’m going to take a little break from writing this next piece, as it was supplied in whole by Eve, my wife.  (I can’t ever say “my wife” without feeling a bit like a bad 70’s comic telling a joke – a la Monkhouse, Dawson, etc…)

I had a couple of slices of this for my breakfast, this morning and it was spot on.

 Eve’s Fruit Bread

Warm 620ml full fat milk in microwave for 60 seconds

Stir in 2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar and pour into mixer bowl

Add 2x 7 gram packets of yeast,

Add 1kg white bread flour, 3 teaspoons of salt and 2 free range eggs.

Beat in the mixer at speed setting 1 until all is incorporated,then reduce down to the “min” setting – until the dough looks smooth, which will take approx 4 minutes or so.

Stop the mixer and scrape the dough off the hook every now and then with a RUBBER spatula, if the dough hook should get all clogged up.

You want a fairly wet dough, as the fruit added later will absorb some of the moisture.  If the mixture looks very wet, add more flour; if too dry, add more milk.

Don’t add your fruit yet, as this will slow down the rise during the prove

Remove bowl from the mixer and cover with a disposable plastic shower cap for an hour or so at normal room temperature, until the dough has doubled in size

Turn out the dough onto a oiled work top and flatten out into a rough rectangle, sprinkle a handful of dried fruit over the dough rectangle then fold into 3, cut dough in half, add more fruit and place one half on top of the other, repeat 4 times. I tend to use about 250g of fruit.

Finally, cut dough in half, then flatten each half into a  rectangle and roll up the dough into a sausage shape, tuck the ends in.

Pop each of them into a 500g loaf tin. Being sure to pick off any fruit from the top of each loaf as it will burn in the oven.

Cover the tins with an upside down clean carrier bag and let the dough prove in a warm place for 1/2 hr to 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile Turn on the oven to 200c and pop a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven.

When the oven is hot and the bread is risen and ready to bake, remove the plastic bags, brush the loaf tops with milk (to give a dark golden brown top) and gently slash the tops with a sharp bread knife and gently place in the oven

Pour a cup of water into the roasting tin and shut the door quickly and gently.

Set timer for 1/2 hour.

When baked and sounding hollow when tapped, remove from oven, pick off any burnt fruit (!!) and leave to cool on wire racks.

Eat with lots of butter.

Tip. If using a fan oven, turn the oven off before opening the door otherwise all the lovely steam and heat will be blown out by the fan.

Cheats Hybrid Sourdough Bread in a Kenwoood or Kitchen Aid Mixer


Ah Sourdough.  The king of breads.  There’s nothing quite like its huge, chewy, delectable flavour.  Unfortunately it does take a heck of a long time to prove and can be be a bit a nightmare to shape…

Eve has this great method for getting a lot of that sourdough taste and chewiness in way less time and with much more of a rise!

Before we get to that we need to deal with getting the starter together:

Get a reasonable handful/cupful/half-a-mug-full of unbleached wholemeal flour – organic if you can; apparently fresher is better as this increases the chances of there being some good viable wild yeasts contained within it.

Add some tap water to the flour and combine until you get a sloppy mixture the consistency of thickish double cream.

Now beat the daylights out of the mixture with a whisk…you’re looking to really aerate it, this will give any yeast present the air it requires and also brings in any airborne yeasts that happen to be floating about.  Lastly put a couple of unwashed grapes into it…grapes are notorious harbourers of wild yeasts, so we’ll have some of that thank you very much.

Pour/spoon the mixture (and grapes) into a jar and cover with cling film/saran wrap -or whatever it is you know it as- and leave for 48hours.  Do check on it from time-to-time – Eve put this starter in a coffee jar, forgot about it for a bit and things went a bit awry:


After 48 hours (shorter if it’s warmer, or longer if it’s colder) you should see some signs of activity and evidence that some yeast has taken and is working, normally that’s some largish bubbles on the surface – like this…


…and a strong yeasty/sour smell.  Don’t be put off by this.  Although if it’s really rank -and believe me you’ll know when it’s off; the smell of dying yeast is unbearable- you should dump it, wash everything up and start again.

Assuming that everything is OK, you should divide the mixture in half and discard one half (plus the grapes) and make the volume of the remaining half up to a little more than where you were before with more flour and some water, this will give your little colony more food to eat.  Remember you’re still aiming for that double cream consistency.

You need to now halve and re-feed your starter every day for the next few days (about a week).

Once a week has gone by you can start using the discard half as a sourdough starter for loaves or  you can give it away to friends so that they can maintain their own sourdough starters.

Once you’re up to a reasonable volume of starter, you can keep it in the fridge and feed it occasionally – that means you’re slowing the fermentation down a bit and can use it whenever you need to bake, being careful to replenish as you use it with more flour and water.

To make a hybrid sourdough loaf:

You basically make the basic bread recipe here:


…and replace some of the liquid content with the equivalent sourdough starter.  That’s all there is to it.  It’s a guaranteed, dependable rise and has a really lovely sourdough flavour….

Bread from a brew day!

One of the depressing things about an all-grain brew day is having to throw away a large quantity of spent grain – sometimes around 6 or 7 kilos.  I can get rid of about half of it to our chickens, who tend to go a bit mad for it…but what to do with the rest?

A great way to use some of it up is to make bread with it.  My wife makes the recipe outlined in this previous post, swapping some of the white flour out for wholemeal, and also incorporating about 100 grams of the spent malt.  It really does make a beautiful bread.  See the pictures below:

20130617_225925     20130618_065503

Making a basic bread dough in a mixer; Kenwood, Kitchen Aid or otherwise


Due to pregnancy and the ensuing stretchy ligaments that make dough kneading a pain, Eve e-bayed herself a decent second-hand Kenwood K-Mix (I also think she just fancied one too!) but couldn’t for the life of her find any exact instructions on how to make a bread dough in it.

After multiple experiments, much cursing and several slightly flattened loaves, we came up with a method that works for us.  The ingredients are based upon Paul Hollywood’s Basic Bread recipe, but the method is all ours!

(We both recommend the Paul Hollywood bread books as the recipes and methods just work…)


  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • A knob of softened butter
  • 1 sachet dried, fast action, yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • about 250 -300ml coolish, not cold, water
  • a little olive oil


  1. Put the flour into the mixer’s bowl with the softened butter.  Put the yeast at one side of the bowl and put the salt at the other, just in case the concentration of salt should kill the yeast.  Set the mixer to the “min” setting and leave to combine the ingredients for a thirty seconds or so
  2. Slowly add the water, a little at a time, as the mixer runs on the “min” setting.  The dough will start to come together slowly.  Keep adding water a little at a time until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl.  If the dough looks too dry add a little water a teaspoon at a time; if it looks too wet shake a little flour in
  3. Once the mixture comes away cleanly from the bowl, you can go up to a notch in speed, the dough will now audibly “slap” against the sides of the bowl, you should also see it visibly stretching.  I like to vary the speed between “min” and setting 1 – which seems to help get things moving along nicely.  Occasionally stop the mixer and pull the dough from the hook, this helps to ensure a good knead and you also get to test how elastic the dough is becoming
  4. Once you can pinch a small piece of dough between thumb and forefinger and pull it for more than an inch or two without it ripping, you’re pretty much in business.  Tip the dough out of the bowl, oil the bowl by rubbing about a penny-sized dollop of olive oil around the interior before putting the dough back in
  5. Find somewhere at room temperature to prove the dough, and cover the mixer bowl with cling film
  6. After the dough has doubled in size (anywhere from an hour to three hours) tip out onto a lightly oiled work surface and with the lightest of touches fold the dough lengthways three, four or five times – until you end up with a loaf tin-sized cylinder of dough. This is a gentle way of “knocking the dough back” so that it can prove for a second time
  7. Oil a loaf tin (including the outside shoulders of the tin) and gently place your folded dough into it, then get a large plastic bag and form a balloon that the loaf tin can fit into – ensuring that the rising loaf cannot possibly touch the plastic bag
  8. Leave for another hour or two until the loaf proves again and rises above the level of the tin
  9. Make sure that your oven is pre-heated to about 200c, with an old baking tin in the bottom.  Now gently place the loaf into the oven and pour a small glass of tap water into the old tin at the bottom of the oven – the steam helps the crust to get crusty!
  10. After 25 minutes take the loaf out of the oven, turn it out of the tin and tap the bottom – if it sounds hollow it’s done and should be cooled on a wire rack.  If not, put it back in the tin and into the oven for another five minutes…repeat as neccessary
  11. After about half-an-hour of cooling the new loaf can be sliced and enjoyed with a spread of butter!

UPDATE:  If you liked that, you may also like this:


No mixer, or can’t knead bread?  Try the “No need to knead” bread recipe!