I'm reading this book at the moment. I'm only half way through but I'm loving it. There is something in Julie Powell's obsessive personality that I recognise in my own... plus that need for a challenge...
and I got to thinking it would be fun to work my way through all the recipes in one of my own cookbooks (but without the time limit!) So given my slight obsession with all things "Bake Off" I decided to try and cook everything in this book .Although there are some things I just don't like the sound of so may well miss them out which does kind of defeat the purpose of cooking every recipe (if there is indeed a purpose).
One recipe that did catch my eye was this Pecan Loaf... so pretty.
I perservered with a very sticky dough, kneading it by hand as I don't own a fancy machine with a dough hook. I confess that it had less than the 2 tablespoons of black treacle required in the recipe... because I had almost run out... nor did it have pecans as I didn't have any in the cupboard, so walnuts were substituted.
And the end result looked pretty much like it should.
Sliced whilst still warm...
And eaten for lunch with our Sunday soup (Pumpkin with melting cheese, since you ask)
But despite appearances, I wasn't very happy with my bread. I don't think it was cooked properly (a slightly soggy middle) and there were far too many walnuts giving it an oily, slightly bitter flavour. And although no one else complained and there is not much left, already I want to try it again with the proper ingedients. I think pecans would work much better in the quantities in the recipe so I guess Paul Hollywood does actually know what he is talking about. Making all the recipes from this book and getting them perfect could be a very long process!
Of course there was cake too, a fruity Harvo loaf... but baked in eight little loaf shaped cases instead of the usual loaf tin. This is another one of those family recipes passed down from my Mum that also uses black treacle... but as I'd used the last scrapings from the tin in my bread I substited golden syrup.
And this time the substitution worked... delicious sliced in half and buttered!
Stir together in a large bowl... 2 cups self raising flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup sultanas (or raisins), a scant cup whole milk, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons black treacle (or golden syrup if you've run out of treacle). Mix until combined, pour into a lined loaf tin and bake at 180 deg C for about 1 hour. Cool in the tin and eat sliced and buttered with afternoon tea!
I think it is quite likely that I've given this recipe on my blog before but I make no apology as it is quite the easiest and one of the tastiest cakes ever!