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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.

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

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>

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?

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!

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.

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.

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.


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 18:06:34


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

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 18:03:37

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.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 08-Jan-10 17:59:54

Message withdrawn

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:

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 17:44:52

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 17:44:31

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 17:44:07

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.

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



you are offically in now!.

i agree he is lovely.

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

Dan Lepard, you are lovely.

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.

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

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

swan meringues = retro cool

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 17:27:47

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 17:27:13

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 17:26:14

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.

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