MN WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus a follow-up question if appropriate, ie once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't be disappointed if your specific question doesn't get answered and do try not to keep posting "What about me?". 4. Do be civil/polite. See guidelines in full here.

Live webchat and baking session with Dan Lepard, Fri 8 Jan, 12-2pm

(270 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Jan-10 13:22:37

We've got a Mumsnet first this Friday - award-winning baker and food writer Dan Lepard is our guest for a bake day and live webchat. Should be just the thing to counter wintry gloom and warm up your kitchen.

Dan's involved with the World Marmalade Festival, which promotes all thing marmalade-y and supports the charity Hospice at Home. So he has chosen Ponymum's muffin recipe and given it a citrus-y twist. Full details, ingredients, plus all Dan's variations on the recipe are here.

Please choose the version that tickles your tastebuds and join us to bake along with Dan on Friday. He'll be online from noon.

While your (and our) culinary creations are cooking, Dan will answer questions and swap tips about baking, bread making, marmalade making and the like.

Once your muffins/pudding/traybake are out of the oven, please share a picture of the finished result on your profile. We'll put up pix of our efforts here.

And, of course, if you can't make it on Friday but have a question you'd like to ask Dan, please post here.

4andnotout Tue 05-Jan-10 14:33:05

I read it as a web chat with Def Leppard blush Which I thought was fairly random grin

CMOTdibbler Tue 05-Jan-10 14:39:24

Dan, if you can come up with a recipe for gluten free pastry that tastes nice, rolls out, and doesn't bake to something resembling kevlar (especially if double baked for quiche), I'll love you forever grin

MmeLindt Tue 05-Jan-10 15:08:14

I might just join in as I have never been able to make muffins.

Not promising a pic of the result though.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Jan-10 15:28:11

Hope you can. Pix not mandatory, but the more the messier merrier.

MmeLindt Tue 05-Jan-10 15:35:27

My last attempt was fit for the dog bin, not for photographing and putting on MN for all the world to laugh.

And don't mention soufflés to me after the disaster on Xmas Eve.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Jan-10 15:38:00

Am impressed you even attempted something as ambitious on Xmas Eve. Respect!

MmeLindt Tue 05-Jan-10 15:42:35

It was awful. DC were in the bath, I was running between kitchen and cellar to get the presents waiting for Christkind (we are half-German so Christkind comes on Xmas Eve) putting the new PJs on the DC's beds, while trying to make soufflés for the first time.

I will save my soufflé questions for Dan, since Delia let me down so badly.

badietbuddy Tue 05-Jan-10 15:54:08

Am I the only one who misread this as Def Leppard? blush

Bessie123 Tue 05-Jan-10 16:05:13

I love his vegan chocolate cake

4andnotout Tue 05-Jan-10 16:09:13

I did too badietbuddy

I am so tempted, even though I should will be working. I could add the results to the 30+ muffins of various savoury and sweet varieties currently residing in the freezer ready to be breakfast for 16 on Sunday (that's less than 2 muffins each, come to think of it - I had better get baking grin)

Admission of ignorance, though - I have never heard of him - should I have done?

purist objection, though - that recipe involves beating. I always thought that on principle (and to avoid being too chewy) muffins only ever involved roughly stirring wet ingredients into dry (and no washing up of food processor/mixer)hmm?

pointydig Tue 05-Jan-10 16:50:25

lol @ def leppard

I have never heard of dan lepard and I do like baking. I will check out.

policywonk Tue 05-Jan-10 17:04:31

Dan Leppard writes a baking column for the Guardian's Saturday magazine (so if you haven't heard of him you are hereby EXPOSED as a non-Guardian reader)

policywonk Tue 05-Jan-10 17:05:37

AArgh, you've got me doing it now.

Leppard Lepard

Oops - considering I won a Grauniad competition yesterday, that is distinctly blush.

policywonk Tue 05-Jan-10 17:08:39

Ooh, what did you win?

pointydig Tue 05-Jan-10 17:10:13

Proudly exposed grin

Tickets to see Peter Pan at the O2 - DM and DS are going grin

pointydig Tue 05-Jan-10 17:13:25

Have checked out. Recipes look nice.

Is he better than supremo Sue Lawrence though? I love her baking recipes.

GrungeBlobPrimpants Tue 05-Jan-10 17:13:58

Dang! Another one who logged onto thread in hope of a chat with Def Leppard.

Marmalade making doesn't cut it I'm afraid

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 05-Jan-10 17:42:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.


This is not the first realtime cookout on MN I'll have you know

look, there were swans and talk of injections and golden balls and ever'thing

sfxmum Tue 05-Jan-10 18:09:04

great shed loads of cookies at this house are his recipe
goes away to think of bread questions

sfxmum Tue 05-Jan-10 18:09:34

that makes no sense hmm sugar rush

<snort> at sugar rush

slng Tue 05-Jan-10 19:44:33

Cakes, breads and cookies in this house are his recipes. Am a great fan.

midnightexpress Tue 05-Jan-10 21:34:45

Dan, I love your book The Handmade Loaf. But real yeast is difficult to find, natural leaven is a faff to keep going and I generally don't have the time needed to make lots of the lovely breads in the book.

<good start>

So, whilst I appreciate that proper bread-making is a wonderful thing, what are your best tips/recipes for the harried bread baker?

onebatmother Wed 06-Jan-10 01:16:25

Daa-aaan <read in voice of whiny child>

Why does some packet (not fresh) yeast bubble and some not?

I make pizza not bread - is it necessary, thees bubbleeng?

Birdly Wed 06-Jan-10 07:34:19

Crikey - I would LOVE a chat with Def Leppard!!!! grin

In the absence of the gods of rock, I guess the muffin man will do! grin

NobodyKnowsIAmACat Wed 06-Jan-10 11:52:02

So how does this work then? Do we all just get on and bake or does Dan somehow talk us through it? How do I avoid getting flour on the laptop?

In terms of marmalade, now that the Sevilles have appeared, I'm planning to use David Lebovitz's recipe, with a little dash of Scotch (well, bourbon actually), and possibly sneaking in some vanilla beans at the end.

My question for Dan would be: I've been trying my hand at sourdough (though I need to resurrect my poor starter), but I've been trying to limit the amount of salt I use to make a lower salt loaf more suitable for my baby to eat. How can I improve the flavour of a basic white loaf without adding more salt? I've only been using approx 5g in what must be a 1kg loaf, which I believe is quite a small amount.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Jan-10 12:40:56

Yes, we hope that anyone who wants to will bake at same time as Dan, and he'll answer questions as we go along.

Once they're in the oven, he'll answer more questions.

Clear as the driven sludge snow? Thankfully, Dan has done this type of live baking/webchatting thing before. grin

NobodyKnowsIAmACat Wed 06-Jan-10 12:54:31

Ah, but is he any good at simultaneously baking, webchatting and breastfeeding? That's what I'll be doing, and I expect the same standards from my baker grin

SoupDragon Wed 06-Jan-10 12:57:07

A baking session with Def Leppard [snort]

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Jan-10 12:58:02

Reckon Dan will have to bow to your superior multi-tasking skills

MmeLindt Wed 06-Jan-10 13:02:52

I have a yeast question too. I have been using a bread recipe that requires quick yeast, which is handy and does not scare me as fresh yeast tends to do. Would my bread be so much better with fresh yeast?

Ponymum Wed 06-Jan-10 13:52:13

I have just discovered that Dan Lepard chose my recipe for a bake along.shock I am swooning with pride and excitedness!

Also am a little embarassed as I realised that when I posted the recipe I listed the quanities as cups not weight which has confused a few people. I do apologise - shows my habit of using my useful little measuring cups instead of the scales. Would you believe that I actually intended to bake another batch this week and post the revised measurements on the recipe? Now wondering whether I can delay my baking until Friday so i can join in, though that may involve a sneaky adjustment to DD's sleep time which I'm not sure I can manage. I'll do my best.

Anyhoo, my question for you Dan (on behalf of DH who is the hardcore DL fan and breadmaker in this house) is: Ever since we moved house and inherited a not brilliant built in oven, DH is not having success with making bread. He is convinced it is because this oven simply won't get hot enough. Are there any tricks or tips to get successful bread out of a domestic oven that refuses to get really hot? He likes to use your pain blanc recipe from Baking with Passion.

JulesJules Wed 06-Jan-10 16:19:14

I read it as Def Leppard too, and I am a Saturday Guardian reader.

Will Def Dan say "Pour Some Sugar On Me" ?


personanongrata Wed 06-Jan-10 17:30:16

Dan, don't have your book, I'm afraid, and want to make sourdough bread (because tediously got to avoid yeast) as shop-bought sourdough while tasty is also pricey.

Can you point me to some failsafe recipes, please? And someone earlier said keeping sourdough leaven going is a faff. Is it? Are there any shortcuts?

Thank you.

slng Wed 06-Jan-10 18:02:58


I tried the sour rye bread and the sweet rye bread in The Handmade Loaf, but they both turned out to be like bricks (though my little boy loved it and continues to demand the "really hard" bread hmm). I used stoneground rye flour rather than fine rye flour. Would that be why? Where can you get fine rye flour? Shipton Mill which you recommend has "light rye flour". Is that it?

And just how do you make naan bread like you get in restaurants? Is it all in the oven? If so I'll give up now ...

NomDePlume Wed 06-Jan-10 19:23:27

I keep thinking this is Def Leppard too.

[unoriginal emoticon]

Never 'eard of 'im but I'm sure his cakes are very nice

DavidTennantAteMyHeart Wed 06-Jan-10 21:33:10

Can I ask about dumplings, please? I made this week's baked cheesy dumplings. Bear with me, as it was the first time I've made dumpling for about twenty years.

Some were lovely and light, and the taste was fantastic. Some were a bit stodgy. Why's this? Sloppy rubbing in? Could it be too much liquid in the casserole drowning some but not others? I didn't have any onion left (snow!) so I made them without the onion and a splash extra milk to help them bind together (less than 20ml).

I have to say it's a long time since I've seen my DH quite so happy after a weekday lunch so I will be making them again but I'd like them to be better!

StarlightWonderStarlightBright Thu 07-Jan-10 00:46:46

Hi Dan,

Talk to me about Kneeding. Is it EVER worth the muscle pain? We just eat homemade bread REALLY dense because we can't stand the army drill. Is there a short cut. I tried a handheld kneeder but the bowl just wizzes around coz I'm not strong enough to hold it still hmm

And, - I have been trying for anout 3 months to find a muffin tin. Where do they live?

StarlightWonderStarlightBright Thu 07-Jan-10 00:50:39

Is there a recipe for no-kneeding, no rising, microwave bread btw?

Birdly Thu 07-Jan-10 07:37:44

JulesJules - one lump or two?! grin grin

Guimauve Thu 07-Jan-10 11:35:41

Starlight - have you tried Richard Bertinet's kneading method, of slapping down and folding the dough rather than old-school pummelling? I haven't tried it myself, thanks be to KitchenAid, but this blog post from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial describes it and has some video - might be worth a go?

phdlife Thu 07-Jan-10 11:52:28

someone ask him about his soy and linseed loaf as printed in the grauniad that one time. I've tried it THREE times and every time it's come out about 1" tall. But I make lots of Andrew Whitley bread ("pulling" kneading) with the same yeast and that just turns out dandy.

starlight iirc Mr Lepard says bread doesn't need kneading. Some kind MNer pasted a long quote for me last time I was whingeing asking about the S&L loaf, you could search if you wanted. It's past bedtime here otherwise I'd do it for you

phdlife Thu 07-Jan-10 11:55:35

oh anda <poke> for stealthsquiggle if she comes back. <<scarpers>>

SoupDragon Thu 07-Jan-10 12:07:48

"Is there a recipe for no-kneeding, no rising, microwave bread btw?" Kind of, it's called a bread maker

slng Thu 07-Jan-10 12:27:12

phdlife - could have been me who posted the long quote. I hope you studied it carefully. grin It's lunch time here otherwise I'd dig it out again.

Ponymum Thu 07-Jan-10 13:01:02

starlight grin Please put us out of our misery and just look here. Are you having trouble because you keep typing "muffing tin" into google?wink

DanLepard Thu 07-Jan-10 15:36:06

test (by MNHQ)

OverflowingFestiveMum Thu 07-Jan-10 17:34:48

ooo fab idea!

I will hopefully be joining in....
may be slightly late start due to nursery drop off (or not depending on snow LOL) but I'll catch up....

off to check ingredients and dream up marmaladey muffin ideas....grin

mark12 Thu 07-Jan-10 19:23:12

Hi have you considered using marmalade and chopped whole orange in a Tea loaf style,instead of using mixed fruits use chopped orange and the sweetness comes from marmalade and a little honey use your favorite recipe and then substitute as above

Jux Thu 07-Jan-10 19:35:22

I was going to join you tomorrow, but my gas pressure is so low at the moment that it took 3 hours to cook a small bread and butter pudding this afternoon. I can only cook on the hob sad

Guimauve Thu 07-Jan-10 21:11:02

Oh bum. Was going to do this but have accidentally used all my carrots. Do you suppose two courgettes and a parsnip will do?

susanzs Thu 07-Jan-10 21:38:06

Hello Dan, I have never participated in a webchat before. I would be very grateful for a soft GLUTEN FREE yeasty challah recipe (plaited loaf)and also where to get a plaited style loaf tin like the one that Kaiser la Forme used to make (but stopped producing before I could get one) to look like a plaited loaf when making gluten free dough but being too busy to take the time to plait the bread oneself.


Okay, so this is a massively cheeky request but I actually have three questions. Can I just say that I am (I think) the only mumsnetter who actually has marmalade IN THEIR NAME grin grin.

i make so much and eat so much of it (dd's almost-first word was marmalala...) and - is it really that wrong to play the sympathy card - my dear step-mil has recently been diagnosed with the kind of condition that hospice at home know all about see here for details.

Firstly, please could you answer a question that has been causing controversy in my family for several generations - I thought that absolutely all pith needs to be removed, whereas my elders and betters say that chopping the fruit finely enough makes it okay. Who is right?

Secondly, I stupidly volunteered to edit our local nct newsletter. some bright spark did an issue about grief and bereavement last time so we'd like to bring a smile to our readers' faces this spring. if it isn't going to get you in trouble with guardian hq, would you, erm, gizza cheeryful recipe? pleeeeease?

also, as an afterthought, any chance of a sourdough bread solution? have had much success with nigella's fresh yeast recipe from how to eat, but would love to combine this with sourdough preparation.

with heartiest best wishes from all at marmalade towers,
dr dundeemarmalade

westmilf Fri 08-Jan-10 00:28:57

Hey if Delia disappoints try AWT he really gives her a run-despite her being my failsafe for too many years!!!!!!!!!

Message withdrawn

henmum Fri 08-Jan-10 09:38:47

For those who don't know, Dan is a great baking expert because he tries things out and explains how and why they work, in detail, rather than just issuing recipes. (eg the famous 'hardly any kneading' bread)

Dan, my question is about sourdough and pumpernickel - sort of 2 questions but linked as I believe rye/pumpernickel is made by the sourdough method

I would like to make the sort of German heavy sticky wholegrain rye bread known here as pumpernickel - not Americal style pumpernicket which is light rye bread.
Do you have a recipe? I have only found recipes for the American style one online.

I have tried to make a sourdough starter but gave up after 2 weeks and masses of flour wasted, partly because it was too much trouble, also I wasn't quite sure what I was doing. Also I couldn't have kept it going. Is there a shortcut/easy method?

IKEA do a pumpernickel style bread mix which is fantastic - just add water and bake, for great results. (it's expensive though). I read somewhere that they have managed to dry and incorporate the sourdough starter in the mix. Does this hold out any hope for the home baker?

BlauerEngel Fri 08-Jan-10 10:40:48

Hello Dan,

I live in Germany, where there is no self-raising flour. There are however a number of different kinds of plain flour with numbers on them (such as 540 and 404, IIRC), which are suitable for different kinds of baking, such as heavy bread or fine cakes. As an aside (not my main question), why is there this distinction when it doesn't seem necessary in the UK? Now for my main question. I've been told that I can 'recreate' self-raising flour by adding 25g of baking powder to 500g of plain flour. Most of my cookbooks are in English and some have recipes for cakes with self-raising flour PLUS baking powder. Why are both sometimes necessary? And am I doing OK by just adding two lots of baking powder instead? And where do bicarbonate of soda come into all this?

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 10:41:49


I am sure my DH would love me to be able to make sourdough, it's one of his fave things ever - but have never tried even basic breadmaking since our breadmaker some years hence (now on permanent loan to a mate as twas woefully underused) - Dan, please can you tell me how hard it is to get started?

((I'm also really just posting to mark my place. I have marmalade and hoping that I can get things vaguely ready when DS goes to sleep shortly so I can bake along. grin <excited>))

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 11:30:01

Right, this better be good.
I've just shlepped and hour to the supermarket in the snow to make sure I have all the ingredients and then dragged the weeks shopping home again on a sledge.

If these muffins don't turn out well I will not be a happy bunny!

Leo35 Fri 08-Jan-10 11:38:43

DS2 just eradicated my first typed message with a well aimed hand! Orange and raisin muffins for our house made and due out of the oven imminently (nap time not convenient for bake in sad).

Geeky question: if I add orange syrup to top of muffins, thus orange drizzle muffins, will they survive freezing? If I do a batch and they really aren't going to get eaten while they are at their best I freeze the remains. If I were a stone lighter I would not be posting this question!

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 11:42:03

LOL at TeamEdward
Nothing like muffins with greatness thrust upon them!

Right, I have no cinnamon and cant go and get as DS sleepin'
Any thoughts to alternative? I have allspice??

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 11:46:53

Aaaargh! I forgot the nutmeg!
Should I substitute or just omit?

fishie Fri 08-Jan-10 11:49:23

hello dan

i make my own bread, usually with a white flour starter which i keep in the fridge and use about once a week.

i know that you advise rye flour for starters, but i find it needs to be used more often or else it becomes rather sharp. how would half white half rye do?

and where on earth can i get fresh yeast? all the books say "ask at your local bakery" but since mine is a hovis factory i don't think they'd take kindly to me appearing at the door with a bowl. i asked at borough market and they just blinked at me.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 11:50:50

LOL at us TE!
??Go without? Think that's what I'm gonna do wrt to the cinnamon.
The marmalade will add a certain je ne sais quoi, won't it?

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 11:52:05

Dan's here and we're live from Carrie's kitchen (the Towers only has a kettle). Just getting the oven warmed up and assembling ingredients.

We're going to try to twitpic some pix as we go along and will put them on this page and on our Facebook page later too.

Dan has got some answers to questions you've asked, so he'll post them in between baking.

He'll be online shortly to say hello.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 11:55:18

Still assembling ingredients and a woman's prerogative is to change her mind wink so have gone with allspice.

(and yes, I know am jumping gun here we don't start until 12, but am snowed in at MN's country outpost today and making most of sleeping child)

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 11:57:46

<logs in>

Not sure if this is going to work, starting now. DC 'helping'

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 11:58:31

I'm keeping my DC quiet with some choc brownies I knocked out yesterday.
I'm swapping nutmeg for mixed spice. Is that ok Dan?!

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:01:39

Joining in in spirit, as I now have neither carrots nor eggs sad

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:03:15

Dan's making carrie's (amazingly tidy envy) kitchen his own

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 12:03:18

Clearly I am not going to get DD into bed in time for this to start.hmm Will do my best to catch up shortly.

Also thinking that I should have name changed as I actually haven't made these for ages and it all might go horribly wrong. Now very scared of TeamEdward!

OpheliaPain Fri 08-Jan-10 12:03:35


your teeth are very shiney

you are the simon cowell of mn teeth

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:04:24

Guimave, can't you mug a snowmn?!

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:04:27

oh good grief <cheesy grin emoticon>

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:04:32

Hi everyone on mumsnet,

Have been watching the goings on here for a while, been very moved by so many of the posts – particularly the threads about bullying at school and the campaign against advertisers twisting the minds of young viewers with guilt about their perfectly fine bodies – so I’m glad to be a part of it. Even if it’s just to encourage anyone who wants to bake, and to drum up some support for our Marmalade Festival in Cumbria early next month.

If you make marmalade, tell me about it. Otherwise, let me know how you're doing with your baking. I’m here making a batch of muffins, but I’ve just discovered a bundt tin in Carrie’s cupboard so I’m going to wing it and see how the mixture bakes as a big cake. So be creative.

OpheliaPain Fri 08-Jan-10 12:04:55

<puts on sunglasses>
she flosses i think

OpheliaPain Fri 08-Jan-10 12:05:14

lol at " goings on"

OpheliaPain Fri 08-Jan-10 12:05:41

lol at bundt in carries cupboard

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:06:06

Hi CMOTdibbler (Tue 05-Jan-10 14:39:24)

You asked about making a better gluten-free shortcrust pastry

Gluten-free pastry:

This is what I use for sweet (for savoury leave out the icing sugar, keep the almonds - that helps the flavour - and add a little pepper and additional salt) . It freezes unbaked well, just bring it to cool room temperature before rolling:

500g gluten-free plain flour
75g icing sugar
75g ground almonds
pinch salt
300g unsalted butter, softened
4 egg yolks
50ml ice cold water

Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl. Break the butter into small pieces and rub this through the flour until it vanishes. Beat the yolks with the water, and stir this into the flour and mix to a very soft and smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes before using as it needs time to firm up.

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:06:22

LOL at mugging snowman!

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:08:59

Hi MmeLindt (Tue 05-Jan-10 15:35:27)

You asked about how to make a great soufflé. I will write a recipe for the Guardian based on my Christmas one (I had the same idea). Made excellent mini Grand Marnier Orange soufflés for Christmas pud, and I'm sure the depth of the bowl and baking it in a water bath help. Also added a pinch of cream of tartar to the egg whites and I think that helped it stay 'up' for longer out of the oven.

midnightexpress Fri 08-Jan-10 12:09:57

Bakealongadan or go and fetch my children from nursery?

<tosses coin>

Oh well. Will catch up with this later. Happy baking y'all.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:10:35

Dan says if you don't have carrots - courgettes or parsnips are absolutely fine and give it a good flavour (he's just added the salt to the flour).

He says Pollymum's recipe is really good because has lots of carrots (v healthy).

midnightexpress Fri 08-Jan-10 12:11:31

Misread souffle advice as 'baking it in bath water'

really must go.

snigger Fri 08-Jan-10 12:11:36

Can I just say baking and typing and reading simultaneously are not conducive to a calm unruffled soul?

Hello Dan - do you have any marmalade tips for someone whose every effort results in an oxford style burnt umber coloured gel of palate searing bitterness?

I've tried twice, and DH (who loves marmalade) has asked me not to try this year.

CMOTdibbler Fri 08-Jan-10 12:12:26

Thank you Dan - if it works, I will buy every book you write, and worship you from afar.

It would be fab if you added allergy alternatives to your recipes - for a man of your cookery intelligence it should be a nice challenge to do gf/df/ef alternatives, and would be very much appreciated.

Now for the tough one - can you do a nice GF bread ?

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:13:15

But no eggs now, no eggs! <wail>
All the eggs are gone!
Perhaps there is some WW2 style egg-substitute I can use. Though the oven is cold, so I'm really rather behind sad

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:13:36

Hi midnightexpress (Tue 05-Jan-10 21:34:45)

For anyone rushed off their feet and wanting to, sometimes, bake a great loaf without too much faff there is this easy one:
About 3 - 4 hours tops. But for a very quick one:

I'm posting links rather than recipes here as there are lots of reader questions and photos there that make the links much more helpful.

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 12:14:44

DC are grating carrots and orange peel

I thought I might go with my name and make orange and Swiss chocolate muffins.

<searches for left over choc>

hope DH has not eaten it all

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:15:50

I shall 'bake' toast with marmalade instead, so as to keep within the correct register.

Except I don't really like marmalade on toast, so I'l be replacing that with jam.

CarrieDaBabi Fri 08-Jan-10 12:15:51

hello dansmile
nice to have you here

what are your views on swan meringues?

retro cool or totally naff?

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:16:15

Dan's grating the carrots (doesn't peel them) into a separate bowl and next going to add the apple (grates whole thing and stops when he gets to the core - he says it's v quick and easier on the fingers, grating-wise).

Next he's going to beat 2 large eggs into the carrot/apple mixture and adding the oil.

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 12:16:25

found some choc

how much should I add?

can I trust the DC to grate/chop up chocolate?

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:16:30

Hi onebatmother (Wed 06-Jan-10 01:16:25)

Does packet yeast sometimes work and other times…well…? It could fail sometimes, so that's why making a batter (what cooks used to call a 'sponge') with a little flour and warm water from the recipe and the yeast, and leaving this for an hour, will help. Try mixing this sponge with very warm water, hot bathwater temperature, and see if that helps. Also, I have less trouble with the instant yeast type in the sachet. I'd take it back to the shop and make a fuss.

CarrieDaBabi Fri 08-Jan-10 12:16:59

oh ps can i kake bread out of plain of self raising flour?
i have no strong in, and the local shop doesn't sell stromg flour?
and it's too icy to drive

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:17:42

Mme Lindt - your DC are at same point as Dan

He has just added the flour mixture (flour, salt, cinnamon) to carrots etc and mixing everything together.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:19:29

CarrieDaBabi, Dan says plain flour fine with pinch of baking powder.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:19:50

Hi NobodyKnowsIAmACat (Wed 06-Jan-10 11:52:02)

How to reduce the salt? A good question. With all recipes, including mine, you can leave the salt out and the bread will still rise and bake well. It might rise a little too quickly so leave the dough after mixing and kneading until it has risen by 50% - no more - then shape it and let it rise again by 50% - 75%.
Flavour with less salt. Try adding a tsp marmite (!!!) mixed into the water for making the dough in place of salt in the recipe. This will give the bread a richer flavour.

snigger Fri 08-Jan-10 12:20:00

Blardy sugar - it's like taking 3/4 of a cup of house brick.

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 12:20:53

much hilarity chez lindt as DS misheard carrot is now grating parrots

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:21:14

Oh dear
I just slung eggs and oil straight into magimix. blush
Have gone into oven but just realised I haven't checked timer <rushes to check> at 12.15 by oven

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 12:21:27

My mixture is very thick...


bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 12:21:56

I grated the carrots and apples and then threw it all in the magimix, mine might turn out not quite so rustic then?! I love anything with a cinnamon smell.

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 12:22:28

good to read that you just chuck it all in too Olivia!

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:23:09

Dan, when I've made sourdough up until now, I've used a method I found on Chocolate and Zucchini, where you put the dough into a dutch oven with the lid on, put it into a cold oven and then bake it for one hour from the point you turn the oven on (to max). It's always produced an okay loaf, but lacking height/ spring. Do you think this is due to the style of baking, or the dough itself?

FaintlyMacabre Fri 08-Jan-10 12:23:17

CMOTdibbler- try Dan's quinoa and hazelnut cake (was in the Guardian baking supplement last year). It's not the most straightforward recipe ever but is lovely.
Thanks for the GF pastry recipe as well Dan.

Sadly I am not joining in the baking as I have a freezer full of carrot muffins already, by co-incidence, and a house to tidy.

However, I do have a question- any ideas on sugar-free baking? A friend of mine has problems with migraines if she has refined sugar and I'd love to try making her a birthday cake. I was thinking of using fruit purees (particularly prune or dried apricots) to get the necessary sweetness- but then there might be too much liquid. Any thoughts?

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:25:45

Dan now using his mum's 'two-spoon technique' to fill the muffin cases. Just about to put them in oven and then he'll be back online in a sec.

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:25:48

What about honey or agave Faintly?

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:26:04

Hi MmeLindt (Wed 06-Jan-10 13:02:52)

Is fresh yeast better than instant yeast? Good question. I use instant yeast all the time, because - in the time since writing my book where I recommend fresh yeast - it's become even harder to buy it. If you keep the yeast to a minimum and shape the dough as soon as you see air bubbles in the dough, or when it has risen by 50% in volume, you shouldn't be able to taste a difference. I can't. Your posts read as if you're well into baking, MmeLindt!

FaintlyMacabre Fri 08-Jan-10 12:27:00
bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 12:28:03

aha, the 2 spoon technique, I just used that too.

The kitchen is such a mess, from the rushing back into here, checking the recipe, refreshing this page, back into kitchen ....

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 12:28:51

mixture smells very strongly of olive oil

CMOTdibbler Fri 08-Jan-10 12:29:13

MMMM - sounds lovely. Am not baking atm, as am trying to lose weight, and if I don't make GF cakes, I can't eat them. Will store that recipe for the future tho

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:30:26

Right, I'm back, they're in the oven and I'm here to answwer your questions.

Honey or Agave: I'd go for agave, as it has less of a strong flavour but remember it will also add liquid so you might wnt to add about half the amount of sugar as "liquid sugar" (i.e. honey or agave). The other trick to add sweetness rather than sugar is to add vanilla or grated orange zest.

ventone Fri 08-Jan-10 12:30:44

Hello Dan,

I could ask a 1000 questions but won't ;)

I feel that I have conquered my 50% rye sourdough but I have two problems that I can't seem to get around. My bubbles are very small and not characteristically big as it is meant to be on sourdough. The second thing is that my dough rises for 3 hours (optimal for my environment) but if I leave it (ie: forget) and it goes to 3 and 1/2 hours when I slash it to put in the oven it deflates. I suppose this indicated a tired yeast at this stage that is paste its 3 hour zenith. Any tips on extending this window of opportunity a little?



Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:31:02

Ooh, I like the sound of marmite bread! Saves the effort of having to try to not spread it too thickly!

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:32:46

Mme Lindt,

Ahh yes, if the olive oil is very strong and "extra virgin" it might still taste of olive oil. A problem? Mybe not, lets wait and see how they taste...

Fivefour Fri 08-Jan-10 12:33:11

Well, my vegan version with added orange and lemon peel is now in the oven (I've gone for a tray bake rather then muffins).
My kitchen is also a right mess!
Dan, do you have any tips for making scones that don't come out like biscuits?

BusyMummyof3 Fri 08-Jan-10 12:34:17

Hi Dan,

I've a quick question. In France I love to eat Pain de Campagne aux noix. I was just wandering if this is the same as sourdough with a few walnuts added? I tried a recipe I found online but it tasted nothing like the real thing.


TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 12:34:29

Ok, mine are in the oven. 180C for how long?

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:34:48

Team Edward,

You say that the mixture seemed very heavy. This will be affected by how juicy you carrots and apples are, and perhaps a little bit by the absorbancy of your flour. Don't worry unduly yet, you might find that everything is ok when they're baked. I've worried about this in the past and often found that everyhting baked fine. So carry on...

sis Fri 08-Jan-10 12:37:14

two spoon method? two teaspoons or tablespoons or...? I'm not baking as I am supposed to be working but want to try this later.


champagnesupernova Fri 08-Jan-10 12:37:46

Hello Dan,

I'm almost ready to go but wondering if you
has any aga-specific instructions? Usually I just suck it and see. grin

FaintlyMacabre Fri 08-Jan-10 12:37:50

Thanks for answering- I will hunt down the agave. Should also come in handy for my diabetic and coeliac DH.

snigger Fri 08-Jan-10 12:38:00

(posting to remind myself I've put them in at 12:37)

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 12:38:01

Thanks Dan. I only had bloody huge large carrots, so they probably were not as juicy as they could have been. And it was a Cox apple.
I'm looking forward to them coming out now!

champagnesupernova Fri 08-Jan-10 12:38:19

has have

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:38:59

Five four,
Great to read that your vegan version has lift-off. And a tray bake too! Can't wait to see it.

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:40:12

Browsing my blog feed, this chocolate brandy layer cake of Dan's looks proper deeeelicious!!

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:40:30

Team Edward,

How long to bake them. At 180C (160C Fan) look at them after 25 minutes but they might need thrity depending on how cold your ingredients were.

It's warm here in Carrie's kitchen. What's it like where you are?

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 12:40:32

would love a perfect scone recipe too please Dan.

mine are in Aga champagnesupernova, bottom oven (baking) coming along nicely, been in 10 minutes so far and are rising.

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:43:02

I saw someone on the telly (Ina Garten, possibly) filling muffin cases using one of those ice-cream scoops with the little slidy arm. Speedy and accurate, I grant you, but lacks the charm of the two-spoon method!

(Can you tell I'm not actually baking?)

CMOTdibbler Fri 08-Jan-10 12:43:39

Too cold in my kitchen !

My scones always turn out flat - have tried adding eggs to compensate for gf, but don't really get any better.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:43:39

Hi CarrieDaBabi (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:16:59)

Bread with [plain flour. Yes, it's possible but don't let it rise too much. Also, add 1/2 500mg crushed tablet of vitamin C to the flour and this will help it rise better (the vit c strengthens the gluten in the flour).


TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 12:45:11

It's cold here! Only room in the house without GCH.

Guimauve, it ia a real faff to use an ice cream scoop for muffin/cake mix. Two-spoons are traditional and best IMHO

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 12:45:36

DC are doing the 2 spoon method. It is a bit messy.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:46:06


Bluesky is better at this than me, as I'm sadly aga-free ( we have a falcon/rangemaster, a bit different). So the bottom oven - if that's the mild one - sounds the best option. Don't aga oven have a ferociously hot one, and a relatively mild one?

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 12:47:04

Ah, glad I didn't bother buying one TE! Though I do find a normal ice-cream scoops (sans slidy thingy) good for getting nice even scoops of cookie dough straight from the fridge.

champagnesupernova Fri 08-Jan-10 12:47:39

Hadn't thought of using an ice-cream scoop - I have a silicon spoon-atula thing and usually just slop it in and hope for the best
Actually, that's my question for Dan
Is there any hope for someone as "hope for the best" as me - baking bread always seems so PRECISE?

champagnesupernova Fri 08-Jan-10 12:49:14

Dan, yes I have gone with bottom oven for now and will check.
WHen I make courgette muffins, then they stay in cooler oven until I am bored of them looking anaemic and then I pop em in the top and check them at 30 second intervals!!


DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:49:25

I'll now try to answer a few more of the questions asked over the last few days!

Hi Ponymum (Wed 06-Jan-10 13:52:13)

Ovens that don't get hot enough. I know about that one. First off, save up and plan for a new oven. My (now old) new oven transformed my home life and I can't imagine getting through Christmas without it.

But…until that day comes. Get a plain thick unglazed terracotta floor tile, big enough to fit in the oven with a few inches to spare around so that the heat can circulate. Place it in the oven before you switch it on and then let the oven preheat for about 50 minutes. I know, it makes it an expensive loaf of bread and probably creates your own little patch of missing ozone from the sky, but it will help get keep the heat in your oven.

giannah Fri 08-Jan-10 12:49:56

Someone told me that there's a category in which the winner can have their marmalade sold in Fortnum & Mason's if they get a double gold for the judges. Is that really true? It sounds amazing.

FaintlyMacabre Fri 08-Jan-10 12:50:20

I have another question (if I'm allowed). Which is better- fan or conventional oven for baking and cooking in general? I have a slight fear of fan ovens but my MIL uses nothing but. She always assumes that the temps given in recipe are fine for fan ovens, whereas I assume they're for conventional, and need adjusting for fan. We were surprised to find that this doesn't get mentioned at all in a lot of recipe books.

PussinJimmyChoos Fri 08-Jan-10 12:51:40

I love muffins but one thing that I find confusing is that the the recipies always state to combine the wet/dry ingredients but to not over mix as this makes the mixture too heavy.

However, not overmixing, means I have big bits of floury mixture - what would you advise?



GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:52:39

Dan's going to quickly make a second batch of the mixture using the bundt tin this time. (He's clearing up as he goes along.)

champagnesupernova Fri 08-Jan-10 12:53:43

<remembers manners>
thanks Dan and bluesky

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 12:54:07

Right, they are now in the oven! I had SOO much mixture, possibly because my carrots were so huge. Have got 24 mini muffins and 4 giant ones!shock Let's see what happens.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:54:15

Hi personanongrata (Wed 06-Jan-10 17:30:16)

You asked about failsafe recipes for sourdough, and faff-free tips for keeping sourdough leaven going.

First off, I have to be honest and say that - at first - getting a sourdough going is a bit of a faff, and not entirely failsafe. Yes, I know that X baker, Y telly chef and Z magazine food writer all say that sourdough is fun, quick and easy. Utter crap. It's like driving a car. Easy when you know how, and at first a nightmare.

But these tips will make it easier:

1. Look at these websites:

and read them slowly to get an overall idea first. In fact, all you will ever need is probably within those three websites, and they're free. The benefit of a website over a book is that they get updated, and as we learn more about what goes on in a sourdough ( I know, two thousand years and we still don't know everything). And they contain help from hundreds of bakers around the world.

2. Remember that the yeast and bacteria you need in your leaven will be contained in any organic wholemeal flour and simply refreshing it each and every day until you have a good, vigorous, vinegar-aroma starter is enough to start it.

3. Keeping the leaven. I freeze it, and that way it's faff-free. Read about it here:

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:55:55

Slng (Wed 06-Jan-10 18:02:58)

Slng asked why my sour rye bread and sweet rye bread in The Handmade Loaf both turned out to be like bricks?

Because they're meant to be like bricks. Your son is right, that 'really hard bread ' does have some fans - I'm one - but it sounds like you're not. I slice it very thinly and have it toasted in the morning with marmalade. The sour and the sweet go lovely together.

But it you want a lighter rye bread, there will be one in the Guardian soon.

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 12:56:03

Dan, thanks so much for your answer about the hot oven. I have just relayed it to DH and he is currently planning where to buy a tarracotta floor tile.grin Nom nom nom, lots of fresh bread for me!

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:57:29

DavidTennantAteMyHeart (Wed 06-Jan-10 21:33:10)

What makes some dumplings in a layer over a casserole lovely and light, and the others a bit stodgy? You’re right about the liquid in the casserole. What happens is that the chunks in the casserole release less moisture than the gravy and so the dumplings above the chunks are lighter and crisper while the dumplings above the sauce are softer (stodgy?) and moist. You could bake them on a baking sheet on the shelf below the casserole and drop them in after it comes out of the oven.

For a variation, look at my recipe for cheese scones in this month's (February) Sainsbury's Magazine. You can see one on the cover and I bet it would make a great dumpling.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 12:58:59

StarlightWonderStarlightBright (Thu 07-Jan-10 00:46:46)

asks is kneading bread dough "EVER worth the muscle pain"?

I never knead bread in the traditional sense and haven't for about eight years. My bread is great, tastes lovely and looks picture perfect. Most of the users of my forum, and lots of readers around the world now knead bread very little or not at all.

But a quick Google will find home cooks and bakers that swear by it. So clearly, it's not necessary but do it if you like it.

As for no-kneading, no rising bread, SoupDragon (Thu 07-Jan-10 12:07:48) has the right idea. A bread machine.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 12:59:49

Lovely smell wafting through kitchen

EVye Fri 08-Jan-10 13:00:04

oh, hope i'm not too late. I'm snowed in and running out of kids snacks.

I have :

plain flour
some milk (not loads)
caster sugar
chocolate chips
cake decorations (hundreds and thousands and mini marshmallows)

We're now out of fruit and yoghurts and I cant get to the shop until tomorrow

I have no self-raising and no yeast. I am also not a very good cook.

Any recipe ideas gratefuly received

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 13:01:34

Ok, that is them in the oven, kitchen tidied and the grocery delivery that arrived in the middle of baking, put away.

I think that was the first time that I really enjoyed baking with the DC. It has been more of a chore until now.

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 13:02:28

My muffins are out and look divine!

Desperately waiting for them to cool so I can snaffle them up ice them for the family.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:02:56

Hi phdlife (Thu 07-Jan-10 11:52:28)

Very sorry to read you have problems with the soy and linseed loaf, though if it's any help you can read and see lots of successes with the recipe here:
and you're the first I know of to have a problem with it. My guess, without comparing the recipes, would be that Andrew uses more yeast and warmer water as this would make it rise faster and maybe that works better in your kitchen.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:04:42

Hi mark12 (Thu 07-Jan-10 19:23:12)

You asked about replacing the dried fruit in a tea-loaf type cake with chopped fresh orange. I wasn't certain whether you have tried this or if you wondered if I had? I haven't tried it, and as an idea I would want to look at how much liquid the fresh orange was adding to the cake mixture. The best cakes are low in watery liquid, as too much will make the texture rubbery. I think I might be tempted to make a hot rum syrup, pour this over the chopped orange pieces and serve it with a slice of the cake and a spoonful of softly whipped cream.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:05:05

Hi Guimauve (Thu 07-Jan-10 21:11:02)

I know this is too late but, yes, in Polymum's recipe I would substitute the carrots for a combination of parsnip and courgette. I know, it sounds mad but it will taste really good. Both parsnips and courgettes are really good in grated-veg style recipes.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:05:11

our first batch out! second one going in.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:06:12

Hi susanzs (Thu 07-Jan-10 21:38:06)

A recipe for gluten-free yeasty challah! Now there's a tall order and I'll have to have a think about it. I'll see if I can come up with one for the Guardian.

Meanwhile, I would go with your idea of using the Kaiser tin, but I can't find one in stock either. Send the company an email at
I'll do the same and see if it helps. Good luck!

CarrieDaBabi Fri 08-Jan-10 13:06:37

thanks dansmile
i shall try that either tomorrow or monday and post the results on heresmile

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 13:08:11

Thanks Dan! If I haven't forgotten and eaten the courgettes and parsnips by tomorrow, I'll give it a try smile I've seen many courgette cake recipes, but I've never come across a parsnip one, which is strange as they're so sweet and delicious!

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 13:08:38

same here, first out, next set (which are slightly bigger) going in.

will attempt to make the frosting when I've had some lunch

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:09:12

Dan just let slip that he was David Hockney's cook for a year in Malibu (not Bradford) shock

snigger Fri 08-Jan-10 13:09:14

<I can see me making random posts in the future for cake timing purposes - stroll into AIBU and post "chocolate guiness cake in" - it's singularly effective.>

Dan, can I just say I am engrossed in your website. I've tried the Richard Bertinet sourdough and bread recipes and thought they were ok, am now investigating your site with vigour! Thanks MN for the introduction!

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:09:47

Right, some more of today's questions to answer.

BTW, our muffins are out cooling now.

CMOTdibbler Fri 08-Jan-10 13:10:35

I'd love the gf challah too. Oh, and nice gf wraps, as you can't buy anything like a wrap - and it avoids the gf sandwich horror <boak>.

I have tried making corn tortilla like things, but they are too hard

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:12:33

Ponymum, thank you so much for the recipe, and I can safely say from everone here you've been a tremendous inspiration. I'm sure that there is always a bit of hesitation posting a recipe and thinking, "what will people make of it?"
Well, it's been good to us.

Snowing again, and a flash warning of heavy snow on the news. Aaahhhhhh

champagnesupernova Fri 08-Jan-10 13:18:48

Okay my patented "shove in top oven when bored with them not cooking" method has worked and they out cooling now and smell yummy.

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 13:19:13

Thanks Dan! Though when I posted it I had no idea it was going to get this much attention!

I'm looking forward eating to warm muffins looking out at the falling snow.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:20:00

Bluesky, fivefour and cmotdibbler,
Sones, you asked about getting light scones.

The tricks are:

1. keep the dough very soft and sticky with milk, don't make it too dry. It sould flow very slightly when scraped out onto the floured bench.

2. Use a mixture of bicarb soda and cream of tartar, rather than baking powder, 2:1 as specified on the container. Most of the great scone makers I know swear by this combo rather than baking powder.

3. Bake them in a really hot oven, about 220C (200C fan) for about 15 minutes rather that lower for longer. This will make them 'jump' in the oven.

I have an extra light scone recipe coming up in the Guardian later next month.

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 13:20:26

Is there anything that I can use instead of cream cheese for the creamy icing? Just realised that I have none. Have butter and icing sugar.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:22:12

Mme Lindt, I was going to try the marmalade glaze which I think is icing sugar and marmalade - can Dan give us some pointers on how best to do please?

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 13:24:19

Just noticed the soufflé answer, thank you. Will look out for that.

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 13:24:56

thanks for scone advice Dan, that is exactly what mine lack in the oven, the "JUMP".

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:25:25

Snigger - lol at your AIBU post.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:28:23

giannah (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:49:56), you asked about double-gold winners from the Marmalade Festival going on sale at Fortnum & Mason. This will be possible, but only from the Artisan Producers category - sorry if this disappoints you, but I'm not sure many home marmalade makers would want to turn their kitchens over to making marmalade on even a small commercial scale!

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 13:29:34

I'm with snigger, I've got my cuppa and looking at all the other delicious cakey recipes on Dan's site, so many new ideas to try.

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 13:31:00

Mine seem to be cooking slowly and also don't seem to have risen much. I'll blame the oven. And maybe the fact that I didn't have SF flour so instead guessed how much baking powder to add instead.blush Smell nice though.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:31:22

We've caved in and about to start scoffing the muffins

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:32:43

Hi dundeemarmalade (Thu 07-Jan-10 23:07:56)

You asked whether all pith needs to be removed when making marmalade, or if chopping the fruit finely is okay.

You are both right, but for different reasons and according to who you ask. The WI, who are the Valhalla gods when it comes to defining what is and isn't true Seville orange marmalade, insist (to me at least) that a true Seville marmalade should be glisteningly clear with very few thin and tender shreds of peel suspended through it. To achieve this all the pith must be removed, then (this is what I do) tie the finely chopped zest in a small pouch of muslin and place it in a saucepan with the roughly chopped pith. Barely cover with water, add the juice of a lemon, and simmer for at least two hours until utterly soft. Strain the liquid through muslin without pressing, return with the untied zest to the pan with the sugar and boil to 104C and hold it there until the setting point is reached. This will produce the clearest set.

However, if you just chop the Seville oranges finely, cover with water and cook until tender, add the sugar and bring to the boil, scoop the pips off - they rather helpfully float to the top - then boil to 104C and hold it there until the setting point is reached, this will produce a lovely preserve. Is it still marmalade? I think it is.

Sourdough bread: look through my website forum at and at and but I will look at writing an easier how-two somewhere.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:33:30

StarlightMcKenzie (Fri 08-Jan-10 08:32:25)

A muffin recipe that doesn't require a muffin tray? You're in luck, but it's the papers rather than the recipe that are the secret. Go to Clas Ohlson and get their paper American muffin cases (£1.39 for 24):

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:35:23

LOL at Gerry's Will power grin
One of mine won't make the glaze, as DS 21months keeps pointing to the cooling rack and saying "mummy! cake! down!" and when I said it was too hot, he said "blow it mummy!" <gratuitous slushy momentgrin>

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:36:21

Icing/glazing - Dan's going to make and shout out instructions for me to post to speed things up.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:37:13


With your ingredients, this is what I'd make:

Chocolate chip marshmallow pancakes.

350ml milk, plus a little more
50g sugar
4 large eggs
125g plain flour
50g melted butter, plus extra butter for the pan
Chocolate chips and mini marshmallows

Beat the milk, sugar and eggs together, then beat in the milk and melted butter. Leave for 30 minutes then heat a frying pan with enough extra butter to barely cover the bottom with a thin layer of oil. Spoon some of the batter into the pan and swirl it around. Place the pan back on the heat, and when the top is barely cooked sprinkle on a spoonful of the chocolate chips and the marshmallows. Let it cook for 30 seconds then fold the pancake into four and leave it on a warm plate while you cook the rest. Serve warm, with ice-cream even better.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:40:21

dundeemarmalade Thu 07-Jan-10 23:07:56 you asked about a newsletter you edit, I'll talk to you later about this and see what can be done.

EVye Fri 08-Jan-10 13:41:40

Sound divine. Thank you so much for answering. Will save recipe and try later when I have recovered from trying to make the MN Easy Biscuits recipes with DDs. In the oven now and I am feeling a little feint.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:42:25

So Dan's taking 150g icing sugar - sieve is best for getting rid of lumps, but can use a mixer.

He's adding about 50g of marmalade and beating them together to a paste.

Also adding about 1tsp of water - only need a v little amount of water.

As you keep mixing, the sugar dissolves and starts to get runny.

Just finding a plate so we can show off the finished product.

Dan says better to ice them directly on the plate and trick with icing is teaspoon and small knife.

He's putting 1 tsp on top of each muffin and spreading with knife.

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 13:42:41

DS decided he did not want any icing on his and has tried one.

Definitely put too much orange peel in, they are very zingy. If I make a really sweet icing, then that should balance it out a bit perhaps.

Did not have a muffin tin so used paper cases, maybe that is why they did not rise so well.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:44:34

Now he's putting a tiny blob of marmalade on top of each one ("like a jewel")

For a glaze, do exactly the same thing but put the icing on hot muffins (ie straight out of oven) and it will melt.

If the muffins have cooled down, heat the icing up gently in a saucepan and brush that over the top.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:44:50

LOL at bundt in Carrie's cupboards but no plates grin wink

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 13:45:29

have just had one of mine now that they have cooled slightly .... delicious. The butter and philly are softening a bit before I mix up the icing.

needanamefast Fri 08-Jan-10 13:46:23

hi dan
just a quickie
am making ponymums muffins with my 2 yr old didn't realise there was a webchat about them - spooky.

50 mins at 180 deg -is that right? other muffin recipes say 20/25 mins....

sorry about typing said 2 yr old and baby on knee while i 1 finger type

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 13:49:06

I am soooo hungry now after reading this, and drooling over recipes on Dan's site, and I have no muffins sad. Perhaps I will brave a walk to the shop for eggs.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:51:09

Ponymum, are you still there? Dan says more like 25.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:55:20

Sorry isn't the marmalade with the sugar a "glaze"?
My muffins have been cooling, so now what?

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 13:55:26

Yes I agree it needs to be quite a bit shorter, but my timings have been a real muddle today so I think you better go by Dan's best estimation.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 13:56:23

Still baking happily here, I'll do my best to answer as many of your remaining questions as I can in the time left, but will then come back later on to round things off!

needanamefast Fri 08-Jan-10 13:58:08

ahhh read that post just in time. 25 mins, thanks.
still freaked that i was going to make these anyway....

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 13:58:40

Olivia, Dan says icing when cold but if it melts on (IYSWIM) it's a glaze.

EVye Fri 08-Jan-10 13:58:43

Must confess I havent been baking your stuff but v impressed by a) quick recipe you gave me amd b) promise to come back later and answer outstanding q's.

Gold star from me grin

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 14:01:59

Sorry didn't mean to be needy grin
Thank you

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 14:03:13

have put a photo of the muffins on my profile, hopefully it should work!

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 14:04:22

Hi everyone,
I'm signing off now - not for any diva reason, but simply that the car parking uses a permit scratch card and we've run out, so home I have to go - but hope you had a great time. You know, all the questions are really reassuring and it's clear that all this "no-one's into baking anymore" is a load of bumph.

So I'll drive back home and continue this when I get there. Until then...thanks ;o)

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 14:05:20

Just posting muffins on my profile!!

CMOTdibbler Fri 08-Jan-10 14:10:16

Thanks Dan - haven't been baking along as would undo my diet plans (and can't bring myself to bake with gluten as I always end up sucking mix off my fingers without thinking), but it's been great to have you on.

I really like baking, as does my 3 year old, and I think it's great that you are aware of allergy baking. Look at some gf cook books, and it seems the writers think we should all sit quietly with a nice healthy bun, and not have a treat cake everyday occasionally. And some of them look unappetising in the book, which is a real triumph

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 14:10:31

Posting pics on my profile

The icing gives them the sweetness that they were missing

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 14:13:06

bluesky I'm dying to see the pics but can't view your profile.

Finally sat down with a cup of tea pregnant lady hot water to munch on a muffin or two. If you can Dan, could you give some tips on getting the best out of this recipe? Mine just didn't rise today like they usually do. The things I did different are:
-Lower oven temp as you said 160 if it's a fan oven (I usually do 180 C fan)
-Used sunflower oil instead of olive oil
-Whizzed the whole lot together in the magimix to save time as the grated stuff was already in there
-Instead of SR flour I added 1 heaped tsp baking powder to 125g flour. Was that not enough?

Any or all of the above likely to contribute to poor rising?

Too embarassed to post a photo but they taste nice.grin

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 14:16:03

ponymum, I think it's just gone up, as I notice my posting name now has a line underneath it. I just posted the one photo, quickly before I ate them all, they are delicious with the icing.

squeaver Fri 08-Jan-10 14:16:21

I honestly couldn't give a monkey's about muffins (other than eating them of course) but CARRIE - loving the kitchen cabinets!

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 14:17:03

Thanks to everyone who took part

Dan says he'll be back later this afternoon with some more answers.

Trying not to scoff all the muffins before Carrie's children get a look in. (Sorry, this is by GeraldineMumsnet - Dan had logged in to my computer to sign off and I forgot to log back in. Oops.)

squeaver Fri 08-Jan-10 14:18:00

And Big Tech looks reassuringly exactly as you would expect him too, ponytail and everything.

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 14:19:24

Are mine on my profile?

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 14:20:37

no not yet, give it 5 mins or so. When your posting name has a line underneath, you have gone "live" so to speak.

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 14:29:36

Do you have your profile set to private?

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 14:33:27

Try again!!

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 14:35:15

Damn! Why is this not working?!?!

bluesky Fri 08-Jan-10 14:36:20

It's working, they look lovely!

As do yours MmeLindt, great to see them as a works in progress in your kitchen!

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 14:38:59

After looking at MN's pics I realised why my muffins always look so odd shaped. I really must get a muffin tin.

Thanks Dan, and MN for a lovely activity, perfect for a snowy afternoon.

MmeLindt Fri 08-Jan-10 14:39:53

Working now and look great. I love your other cakes too, the castle is great.

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 14:40:16

Fancy cake stands, star shaped muffins - there's some seriously professional work here! Who is eating?

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 14:48:18

I do get a lot of admiration for my cake stand - amazing what you can pick up in the Laura Ashley sale! (you can't tell in the pics, but it's a bit wonky!)

I've had a lovely afternoon - Thank MN and thank you Dan!

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 15:03:31

Just got back to the Towers - fab pictures on profiles. Thank you

FaintlyMacabre Fri 08-Jan-10 15:07:59

I may be being a bit dim, but where are the MN pictures please?

BusyMummyof3 Fri 08-Jan-10 15:09:10

I'm a bit late making these but oh dear I've just made burnt marmalade sweets trying to make the glaze!

Note to self - must keep an eye on the pan rather than browsing MN!

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-10 15:13:27

FaintlyMacabre - sorry, only managed to get them on Twitter during, just about to resize and add to our page and put on Facebook etc.

BigTech took some lovely video that he's editing just now.

FaintlyMacabre Fri 08-Jan-10 15:16:18

Thanks- was wondering what everyone else was doing that I was missing!

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 15:20:01

Thanks Dan! That was great gringrin More cooking webchats please MNHQ - there are, I think, a lot of MNers who might appreciate some live action HFW!!

snigger Fri 08-Jan-10 15:41:32

It took me longer to post the picture than make the cake.

Yes to more cooking webchats, that was rather fun, thank you.

ButterflyEmma Fri 08-Jan-10 15:45:56

very yummy - hope some last till DH gets home from work!

newlark Fri 08-Jan-10 15:58:31

I couldn't join in live but have just finished making these with my 3 yr old dd and they are delicious . I used a bit less sugar (so my 15 mth old could eat one without me feeling too guilty grin) and added the zest of a lemon to the basic recipe. They are a little on the heavy/moist side in the middle - perhaps they should have had a bit longer in the oven?

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 16:33:38

Did anyone write down/can anyone post Dan's recipe for the muffins?
I can't cope with the cup measurements of the original recipe, and that's the only one I can find now.
I wanted to write it down in my recipe book.

TeamEdward Fri 08-Jan-10 16:35:48

Sorry, scrub that last message, I've just found it!!!

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 16:59:52

Back now...

Hi henmum (Fri 08-Jan-10 09:38:47)

You asked for a recipe for heavy, sticky German-style rye bread pumpernickle. You know, that is one of the breads I haven't really mastered or got to grips with and - this will sound a bit bread geeky - but one of my resolutions for this years is to make great pumpernickle bread. Keep you eyes on my website and I post the recipe there when I've got it right.

Sourdough, there will be a step-by-step how to on my (new) website when It's launched later this month.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:00:15

Hi BlauerEngel (Fri 08-Jan-10 10:40:48)

You asked about the mysteries of British flour, baking powder and bi-carb, and the answer also explains why some recipes use additional bicarbonate of soda.

Why doesn't the UK have different grades of flour? Well, we do but home bakers don't really get a look in. The different grades of flour here go under trade names, and there is quite a tradition of that. The Italians do the same. Though they have '0', '00' and '000' grades, the different flours for specific recipes are grouped under different names rather than numbers. So you might have a ''00' per pane', "'00' per dolce' and then each miller will use a proprietary trade name for their flour, e.g. '00' Tramonte per pane rosetta, that's one I know of. So in the UK we have high ratio cake flours (for cakes with a higher ratio of sugar and fat to flour), heat treated flours, higher extraction flours (containing more bran etc). It's just that the home cook never sees them.

I notice on the back of my container of Dr. Oetker Baking Powder they recommend:
3 tsp per 225g for a sponge cake or muffin
1 tsp per 225g for a dense fruit cake
1 tsp per 225g for batters or biscuits

Most pastry cooks and good home cooks (aka Grandmothers in Scotland) tweak their baking with bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar, the alkali and the acid respectively in baking powder. Brands might use slightly different chemicals but that roughly what they are. Now some cooks find that by adding more of one than the other they get a better result and that's why some recipes suggest baking powder plus bicarb, as this will give more lift.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:00:50

Hi OliviaMumsnet (Fri 08-Jan-10 10:41:49)

You asked how hard it is to make a simple loaf of bread by hand. Do try this one here:
Easy White Bread

Pizzamum Fri 08-Jan-10 17:22:34

Pane Pugliese crust question;

I am a moderately competent home baker and can never seem to get the dark the heavy dark crust I have had in Puglia and Tuscany.

My mix is generally a Carol Field recipe using 20% starter and 3% yeast in 1kg flour made with 50% Molino Spadoni PZ3 (4-8hr rise) 00 flour and 50% high gluten Marriages Manitoba approx 70% water. I bake with a Rayburn at 250ºC dropping to 220ºC on 10mm x 400mm x 300mm porcelain tiles with plenty of water in a tray and a good squish with a sprayer to start and after 10 minutes or using a wood fired pizza oven with a 25mm refractory brick floor. The latter I can run up to 300ºC or more and have had fairly good results with no steam at 220ºC but not a heavy dark crust.


Alex Chambers

BusyMummyof3 Fri 08-Jan-10 17:25:57

mmmm....yummy. Followed basic recipe with the marmalade glaze and they are scrummy. Thanks ponymum for recipe.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:26:14

Hi Leo35 (Fri 08-Jan-10 11:38:43)

I like a geeky question. Will orange syrup covered muffins survive freezing, presumably with "syrupus intactus"? Possibly, certainly they should look fine though some of the syrup will probably be drawn into the cake as it thaws. Yes, freeze them. We do that here and it's usually fine.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:27:13

Hi fishie (Fri 08-Jan-10 11:49:23)

You asked about varying the types of flour used when you refresh a sourdough starter. Yes, do, go for it, nothing will go wrong and it's crucial that you make a loaf that you're absolutely happy with rather than following my scripture or anyone elses. Hal;f white, half rye sounds good to me.

I think I said earlier today that I no longer reply on fresh yeast. Replace fresh yeast in a recipe with the same volume (1/2 tsp of fresh yeast weighs about 3.5g, whereas 1/2 tsp dry instant weighs about 1.75g) of dry instant.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:27:47

Hi snigger (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:11:36)

Why is your marmalade burnt and bitter? Overcooking once the sugar is added. Check my rough recipe (Fri 08-Jan-10 13:32:43) and make sure you reduce the volume of strained orange liquid after cooking the skin to the same volume for weight as the original fruit, then add about the same weight in sugar.

1. Start with 1kg oranges and 1 or 2 lemons
2. Chop, cover with water, simmer for 2 hours, then strain the liquid.
3. Measure the liquid. You should have 1 litre. If you have more, return it to a clean pan and boil until you have 1 litre.
4. Return to the pan with the cooked peel - all or some of it - and add 1 kg sugar.
5. Bring to the boil and cook until it reaches 104C. Check for setting using a cold plate, a spoonful of the marmalade dribbled on should set in 5 minutes left in the fridge. If it doesn't, keep the temperature around 104 and let it stay hot for 10 minutes more - don't let the temperature go up.
6. Once the setting point is reached let the marmalade sit for 15 minutes before bottling.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:28:20

Hi CMOTdibbler (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:12:26)

You asked if I could add alternatives to my recipes. I would love to in the Guardian column but I'm only given 225 words to play with. Actually it used to be 250 but with the shrinking economy the page shrunk as well. So no room for any ifs or buts.

But we do have a nice - no, make that excellent - GF bread recipe of mine here:

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:28:47

CarrieDaBabi (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:15:51)

swan meringues = retro cool

HinnyPet Fri 08-Jan-10 17:29:26

So it wasn't with Def Leppard then?
Aw, shucks.
Hey MNHQ.... there's an idea for you.

snigger Fri 08-Jan-10 17:35:33

Dan Lepard, you are lovely.

CarrieDaBabi Fri 08-Jan-10 17:40:06



you are offically in now!.

i agree he is lovely.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:44:07

Hi MmeLindt (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:16:25)

You asked ages ago about how much chocolate to add to the muffin recipe. For next time, add about 100g of chopped chocolate.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:44:31

Hi Guimauve (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:23:09)

You asked whether dough placed in a dutch oven (clay pot with a lid) and place in a cold oven - which is then switched on and left to heat up and bake the dough - would have as much oven spring as one baked by placing the cold dough in a hot oven. No it wouldn't, you'll get more oven spring and height by placing the cold dough into a hot oven. But the cold oven method uses less fuel and thus better for the environment. It's a tricky one to decide, perhaps, if your after the best loaf.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:44:52

Hi FaintlyMacabre (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:23:17)

Thanks for the compliments about the hazelnut and quinoa cake. I really liked it too.

For a low sugar recipe, try my Alchemist's Chocolate cake here:

A tip is to puree the fruit in a blender with honey or agave syrup, and add something like oat flour in place of some of the regular flour to give it a better flavour. The oat flour makes it 'chewy' as if there's more sugar in it.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:53:36

Hi Charlotte (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:30:44)

Lack of big bubbles in 50% rye sourdough. Actually I'd be surprised if you can get any. when you add rye flour it closes the texture of the dough as it - effectively - lowers the gluten in the dough and that means it can't stretch enough to hold big bubbles. But what you can do is try using one of those 'extra' strong flours, plus 1/2 500mg tablet of vit C crushed to a powder, and a little extra water and see if that helps.

If you want you dough to take longer to mature, add less sourdough to it at the beginning. Try reducing the amount added by 25% and that should mean it will take longer to peak.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 17:53:56

Hi BusyMummyof3 (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:34:17)

How to make a Pain de Campagne aux noix at home: you know, it is partly the flour and it might have a good leaven (sourdough) in it as well.

This one is pretty authentic but a bit tricky:

or this one is easier:

Message withdrawn

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 18:03:37

Hi sis (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:37:14)

When I mentioned the "two-spoon" method of spooning the batter into the papers, it's something my mother taught me yaesr ago. Scoop the mixture - using a tsp or tablespoon - into one spoon from the bowl, then scrape it off with the other spoon. Easy.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 18:04:06

Hi PussinJimmyChoos (Fri 08-Jan-10 12:51:40)

Recipes that say do not overmix: Hmmm, it's true, if you beat the mixture like a demon it might get elastic and rubbery but, really, most the lightness will be in the amount of baking powder in relation to the other ingredients. Also, when you mix, scoop right down to the bottom of the bowl right from the start and keep doing that. This will help the mixture to become even quicker.

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 18:06:34


Every year day I know a little less. Though probably enough to get me by in baking.

ventone Fri 08-Jan-10 18:09:15

Thankyou Dan. That is very useful. Thank you for taking the time to respond this evening

DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 18:13:41

Hi Ponymum,

^Mine just didn't rise today like they usually do. The things I did different are…

Lower oven temp as you said 160 if it's a fan oven (I usually do 180 C fan)^

Your oven might be cooler. Do bake them at 180C.

^Used sunflower oil instead of olive oil^

Shouldn't make a difference

^Whizzed the whole lot together in the magimix to save time as the grated stuff was already in there^

Maybe you've answered our "do not overbeat" question…

^Instead of SR flour I added 1 heaped tsp baking powder to 125g flour. Was that not enough?^

That sounds about right but you could add more depending on the ingredients. Old SR flour, BTW, produced a much lighter result than fresh flour. I'm sure using one of those SR sponge flours would produce an extra light result.


DanLepard Fri 08-Jan-10 18:15:46

Hi MmeLindt (Fri 08-Jan-10 13:20:26)

For a cream-cheese free creamy frosting use butter and icing sugar (2/3 sugar and 1/3 butter) together with 2 tbsp marmalade, beat like crazy and work in just enough water to make it soft and spreadable.

midnightexpress Fri 08-Jan-10 18:46:42

Thanks very much for answering my question Dan. I'm going to have a proper look through the thread once the children are abed. It looks as if there is loads of interesting stuff on here.

Guimauve Fri 08-Jan-10 19:51:45

Thanks again Dan - I shall gird my loins for a go at a less environmentally friendly (hadn't thought of that aspect at all) but possibly better loaf.

What a lovely, lovely chap, coming back to answer all these questions! Can we make this a regular thing? Monthly Baking with Dan? Please? Pleeeeeease Dan!

Leo35 Fri 08-Jan-10 21:03:36

Thanks for answering the crucial 'syrupus intactus' question Dan (lol at the baking terminology!). A few muffins destined for the deep freeze, and lemon poppyseed with lemon syrup to be tackled next.

Really enjoyed the webchat and all the baking ideas - inspirational! Can we have some more of these MNHQ?

CMOTdibbler Fri 08-Jan-10 21:18:06

I'll be having a go at the bread and pastry tomorrow - can't believe I missed the bread recipe in the Guardian though !

Thank you ! <snogs Dan>

Ponymum Fri 08-Jan-10 21:30:22

Dan, you are a star! Thank you so much for your really thorough answers to all our questions - really, really helpful!

starlight You are boasting of knowing me?? Snort! It's been the other way around for the last two years, you know.wink

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now