Bake Off Bake Along - Week 2, Biscuits

Thursday 20 August 2015

Last week's Bake Off was all about biscuits.

I said in my bake along post last week that I would probably try out some Biscotti, something I have never baked - or even eaten - before, and that's what I ended up baking.

I had a look through my fairly large cookbook collection and really struggled to find a Biscotti recipe though. Then I checked on the BBC Good Food website and found this one here. I mentioned before that I wouldn't want to add nuts to it and so adapted it to become a Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscotti instead.

I had always been put off trying out Biscotti as I knew you had to bake them twice, which made them sound more complicated than they really are. The dough is so straightforward to make, as is shaping it into a few sausage shapes to bake the first time. Then once it is cooled you slice the sausage shapes into the biscuit shapes and bake again at a much lower temperature. Not complicated at all!

Here are my Biscotti..

After taking this photo I added some stripes of drizzled white chocolate over the tops of them too.

They taste lovely, anything with cranberry and white chocolate can't taste bad if you ask me! However, they just aren't the sort of sweet treats that I enjoy to eat. I much prefer a cake or a piece of shortbread. These are a little on the hard side for me. I think they would be good with a cup of coffee, or perhaps even some tea, so that you could dunk them in, but since I don't enjoy either of these any more then that's not much good to me! Still, I'm sure the hungry teenager in the house won't let them go to waste.

This week's show was all about bread,  something I don't tend to bake very often, but that I always think I should try to. One of the main reasons I don't make bread very often is that I don't like to have too much flour flying around as Calum (12) has had an allergic reaction to airborne flour in the past and so it's not something I want to risk again! Any time I am making bread then I make sure that none of the three boys with wheat allergies come into the kitchen until I am finished and everything is cleaned up. One day I aim to try and perfect a wheat free bread, but I haven't done much research yet about how to perfect the holy grail of wheat free cooking!

In the first round of this week's show the bakers had to bake a quick bread. One without yeast. I have made plenty plain soda breads before, but the ones on the show had lovely looking extras added to them, like cheeses, bacon and herbs. This is a definite contender for me to try out this week, and I think I will try and make a wheat and dairy free version.

The technical challenge was a tricky one, a French baguette. I'd love to be able to make one at home, but the thought of it scares me! I know mine would probably end up more ciabatta like, like some on the show.

The final round contained some impressive looking bread sculptures. I won't mention what any of them were in case anyone hasn't had the chance to watch last week's show yet.

Based on my own time constraints, and the allergy restrictions in the house, I think I'll stick to my original plan of trying out a soda bread for next week.

Has anyone else been baking along? Or is anyone else planning to be braver than me for bread week? I know my sister in law makes very nice homemade bread so perhaps I could challenge her to try one of the fancier breads!

post signature