Monthly Archives: February 2015

How to have a flipping amazing Pancake Day

treat One of our favourite foodie seasons is almost upon us…Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday)

This is the perfect time to use up all those baking ingredients that have been lurking at the back of your food cupboard. Cease the opportunity to avoid wastage and turn them into something incredible – mounds and mounds of pancakes.

Here at BakingMad.com we have teamed up with Askeys Treat to share with you our top tips and ideas to have the best Pancake Day ever!

treat ingredients The most important tip of all: Don’t forget to stock up on your ingredients, in particular, the all important toppings (Askeys Treat of course)

Have you tried Askeys Maple Syrup Treat sauce? If we had to describe it in one word it would be ‘yuuuuuuum’ This sauce is amazing on pancakes, but also really versatile and can be used to drizzle on bacon, top cupcakes, bake in flapjacks and even glaze your roast parsnips!

Once you have all your ingredients, it is then time to find your recipe. BakingMad.com is packed full of wonderful Pancake Recipes so take some time to browse through and find a new favourite here.

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So! Ingredients purchased and recipe found, see below our secrets to make the perfect pancake.

1. Invest in a good quality non-stick pan (you will thank us for this later when washing up!)

2. Use a pastry brush or kitchen towelling to lightly grease the pan – too much butter means over-brown pancakes

3. Only mix your ingredients until incorporated – over mixing will lead to a rubbery pancake.

4. Stack your pancakes separated with greaseproof paper. They can even be made in advance and frozen.

5. For even sized pancakes use a measuring cup to pour out equal amounts of batter in your pan.

6. Your pancakes are ready to flip when the edges become brown and come away from the pan.

If you want to get the kids involved, the mixing of the batter is a really kid-friendly task (if you don’t mind a messy kitchen)

Also, whilst your frying the pancakes why not get the kids to take part in Pancake Day bingo. You can print off our simple bingo sheet here and get your little ones to cross one each square when it happens. Once your pancakes are complete, drizzle with Treat and enjoy!!

Pancake Bingo

treat sauces

Peter Sidwell answers your bread baking questions

Peter Sidwell This week we put your bread baking questions to master baker and judge of ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery, Peter Sidwell. With Peter’s simple tips anyone can turn a bread baking disaster into a triumph.

Q. How can you stop you loaf sticking inside a loaf tin and get good height on the loaf? (Rebecca Seal)

Peter: Try a quick release spray in your tin or roll you loaf in a little flour before placing in the tin. To get a good height make sure you bake the bread in a nice hot oven, I like to add some steam into the oven by using a water spray gun as you place it in the oven to bake.

Q. My loaves tend to spread rather than rise, what can I do? (Jamie Wheat)

Peter: It sounds as though you are possibly adding too much liquid to your recipe, try baking your dough in a loaf tin to give the loaf support as it proves and bakes.

Q. Do you have any advice on making bread in an AGA…I never seem to get it to rise enough before the outside becomes too crusty or burns? (Kirsty Warner)

Peter: I would recommend using the hottest oven to begin with for approximately 15 minutes then transfer to a middle oven to finish baking.

Q. How do you know when dough is over proved? (Patsy Keith)

Peter: You can see if it’s over proved by appearance – the top of the dough will appear to have a thin crust and looks as though it is about to deflate. To resolve scoop the dough out, knock back and try proving again. Also another way to check is the finger test – if you push a wet finger into the dough about 1cm to 2cm in and it springs back then the dough is good if it deflates then it’s over proved.

Q. I leave my bread to prove over various times but nothing seems to make it light and fluffy it’s also dense and urgh. help me please?!?!?!? (Rachel Hutchings)

Peter: Possibly you are making bread with very little gluten in so try blending a little strong white flour in there, e.g. 200g strong white bread flour and 300g of another bread flour you make like. You must also make sure your dough has the right amount of water in so you create a nice soft dough that will stretch nicely when kneading. Always give the dough plenty of kneading or leave it to prove over night to give the dough plenty of time to rise on it first prove, before knocking back and shaping.

If your dough is too tight there is not enough water and the dough would not have enough stretch in it to hold the air pockets so it’s important to make sure the dough is soft not tight like a pastry dough and well kneaded so it’s nice and stretchy to allow for a good rise.

Q. Why do I sometimes get a gap under the crust? (Liz King)

Peter: This is probably due to not knocking all the air out of the dough following its first prove. It is important to knock all the air out of the dough so you get a nice even rise on the second prove before baking.

Q. Can you rescue over proved by knocking back and re-rising? (Wag Dalzell)

Peter: In a lot of case, yes, but make sure you knock it back well so that you get an even 2nd prove. You might even get a better flavour by re-proving. Try proving your bread in the fridge overnight for the first prove to slow it down and generate more flavour.

Q. First time using bread machine, my question is – is it true if using yeast out of date the dough does not get raised enough? (Maryati Tracy)

Peter: Yes if yeast becomes old and out of date it can be less efficient in your recipe so make sure you use it and buy Allinson sachets so you only open what you need. Also make sure you add the ingredients in the right order i.e. liquid first, then yeast and the flour and finish with the salt then you’re good to go.

Q. Mine never seems to rise as much as it should! (Woody Wenman-Hyde)

Peter: Check your yeast is in date and that you are using the correct amount. Make sure you leave the dough to prove for the maximum time in the recipe or until it doubles in size, the temp of your kitchen can also slow down the prove if it’s cold.

Q. Fresh or dried yeast? (Mike Armstrong)

Peter: Fresh yeast is great but not a handy as dried, I use dried, such as Allinson Easy Bake yeast, at home as its handy to just grab out of the cupboard.

For more bread baking hints, tips and recipe inspiration from Allinson click here

Yeast – the unsung hero

A part of the Rise Up bread baking challenge Allinson are sharing with us their expert knowledge on the true unsung hero of bread baking – yeast…

yeast “Making bread is a simple process using a small number of simple ingredients, but as flour is usually in the limelight, we thought it was time to shout about the unsung hero of bread baking; yeast! This little micro-organism really is the life and soul of the party. Let’s face it, your loaf will literally be flat without it!

So what do you need to know? Well let’s start with what the yeast does. It breaks down the starch in the flour into simple sugars, which it feeds on to create carbon dioxide. The gluten strands that make your dough lovely and stretchy hold the carbon dioxide in bubbles which expand the dough, making your bread rise. Pretty clever for a single-cell organism!

The Allinson range has 2 different types of yeast and which can be used in slightly different ways. Our Easy Bake yeast can be used in either hand baking or in a bread maker, and as the name suggests all you need to do is add it to the bowl and you are ready to go. We even make sachets which have the perfect amount (7g) to make 1 large loaf or a batch of rolls. If you aren’t using a sachet then measure out 2 teaspoons from your tin.

The other type of yeast is the Dried Active yeast. This is a more traditional format and is only suitable for hand baking. This is because it needs waking up with a nice warm bath! Simply dissolve a teaspoon of sugar in 150ml of warm water and add 15g of dried active yeast, then whisk and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes or until there is a layer of froth on the surface. You can buy this yeast in a 125g tin.

You can interchange yeasts in a bread recipe, a simple conversion to remember is that 1 sachet of Allinson Easy Bake yeast (7g) equates to 15g of Dried Active yeast.

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The other thing to remember about yeast is that it is quite delicate. It doesn’t like to be in contact with salt for a long time as the salt will kill the yeast. Unless you have all your ingredients pre-measured try to add the salt and yeast to opposite sides of the bowl, and if you are using a bread maker, add the yeast first and the salt last.

Now that you know a bit more about yeast why not grab a sachet and use it to rise up to the bread baking challenge!”