Recipes for rye bread and preserved cumquats

First, here’s the recipe for the rye bread.

I’m very pleased with it I have to say. I cut the loaf in half while it was still hot, so the texture doesn’t look great but really it’s fine now it’s cooled. We just couldn’t wait to make it into a sandwich for our lunch. It was mighty good simply with leftover roast pork and piccalilli, plus tomato and camembert. Robert moved on to bread with a Tasmanian honey, which he said was sensational. Certainly this bread is worth a try.

Rye Bread with Spelt

1 cup rye flour
1 cup spelt
2 cups plain flour
4 teaspoons dried yeast
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 egg, lightly whisked
3 teaspoons molasses
½ cup boiling water
½ cup water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ cup yoghurt

Mix together the flours, yeast and salt and then make a well in the centre. Pour in the oil and egg.

Dissolve the molasses in the boiling water, then mix with the cooler water to make a lukewarm liquid. Pour into the well, along with the vinegar and yoghurt (if the mixture is a bit dry, add an extra couple of tablespoons of warm water.

Mix well, then cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until about doubled (approximately one hour, though may take more).

Grease a large bread tin.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, sprinkle with flour and then knead until smooth. Cut into 2 equal portions and shape each into a ball. Place side by side in prepared tin.

Allow to rise almost to the top of the tin and then bake at 200 degrees C (fan forced) for 40 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

And now, here’s the recipe for the preserved cumquats (photo in my earlier post). You will notice that they are not candied per se, a process by which more sugar is added to the syrup every day or so and then the cumquats returned to the mixture to steep. I prefer them to be not so sweet and besides, this method is quicker.

It does mean that they don’t keep so long of course, but if they are kept in the fridge, all should be well for at least 3 weeks. Otherwise you could waterbath them (like, Fowlers method) and they will keep longer. In that case, bring slowly up to 85 degrees C over 50 minutes, then hold at this temperature for one hour. The cumquats will then keep indefinitely.

By the way, the reason I discard the water from the initial boiling is that I find it takes away some of that unpleasant ‘pithiness’ that goes with citrus fruits.

Preserved Cumquats

500g cumquats
650g sugar
250ml water

Prick the cumquats, barely cover with boiling water and gently simmer for 15 minutes. Drain.

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring. Add cumquats and cook very gently for 20 minutes. Allow to cool in the syrup. Spoon into jars and seal immediately. If the cumquats tend to float on the surface, crumple a piece of baking peer and press into the top of the jar – that will keep them submerged, essential if they are not to spoil.


This week I’ve been given some more cumquats. The last batch I turned into cordial – well, a goodly number of them. One of the people who came to the cooking class said why not just puree them in 500g batches, then freeze in readiness for making cordial anytime during the year. My goodness I get some good tips along the way. So logical, but it had never occurred to me.

This latest bucketful I am cooking in a sugar syrup. These are delicious, believe it or not, served with blue cheese. I recently tasted a goat blue cheese and these cumquats would be a perfect accompaniment. I rather fancy some rye bread with that, so I am trialling a recipe I’ve put together this morning.

I’ll put the recipe up for both later in the day or tomorrow. Meanwhile, here’s photo of the cumquats simmering gently in the syrup.

Bread oven update

A funny thing happened while I’ve been away from home for a few days (at Tasmanian Fine Food Awards). Obviously Robert has not been sitting around as the bread oven has undergone considerable progress …..

Della, our old beagle, has obviously been supervising proceedings….

Savoury Muffins

Last Saturday’s class here in the cooking school was Sweet Treats from the Kitchen. By mid morning we had eaten our fill of sweet for a little while. One of the participants asked if the butter cake could be converted to savoury muffins. Why not? So we tried it there and then and found that it was easily done and the result was very delicious. Definitely a recipe to share, so here it is (thanks to Alexis whose suggestion led to the development of this recipe):

Savoury Muffins
2 eggs
1½ cups self raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ cups milk
1 cup grated tasty cheese
½ cup chopped ham or bacon
1 small red capsicum, diced
½ small onion, diced
80g butter, melted
50g diced camembert

Whisk the eggs lightly until combined, then mix in the rest of the ingredients, camembert last.

Spoon into 12 into 14 large muffins pans (approximately ½ cup capacity), which have been well greased or lined with muffin papers.

Bake at 180 degrees C (fan forced) for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through (they will spring back when lightly touched in the centre when cooked).

Bread oven progresses

After a cooking class here this morning, it was time to get to work on the outdoor bread oven. Never mixed concrete before, not sure I want to again, but the base slab is now in place. It’s onward and upward from here, can’t wait for it to be finished. It will add a whole new dimension to the loaves of bread baked for the stall at our gate.

Stall tomorrow and this weekend

The stall at our gate (179 Wyre Forest Rd, Molesworth) will have the usual daily preserves there tomorrow – there are sweet chilli sauce and Piccalilli to join the rest.

I know that usually Friday is biscuit day; however I found some cute little springform tins yesterday that I am keen to road test. PLUS, citrus is excellent at the moment, and I’m especially happy to have been given some beautiful Tasmanian lemons and limes. So … I’m about to make small individual chocolate/orange cakes and, with the same tins, little lemon and lime flavoured butter cakes topped with home-preserved apricot halves, blueberries and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. They should be out there by 9.30am.

Saturday there will be more cakes but, as there is a sizeable class here that morning, breads will be available only Sunday, along with sausage rolls and most likely even plum and custard tartuffins. Breads on Sunday will include spelt loaves, barley bread and more

Incidentally, I have plenty of eggs to work with – the chooks and ducks have been very busy indeed.  I’ve been over in Melbourne taking part in judging preserves in the Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards and now the egg container in our kitchen is overflowing.  Even the newest chickens have been having a try.  Here is a photo of the three different sizes – humungous duck egg, a chicken regular size and one I call “just practising”.

Stall this week

Roadside stall at our gate this weekend – due to other commitments, the stall will only contain preserves this weekend. Everything will be back on track by the next weekend however with breads, cakes and sausage rolls.

Stall today

Stall here at out gate today – as there is a gluten free class in the cooking school this morning, there won’t be breads and cakes on the stall this morning. Reason is that I can’t risk cross contamination with wheaten flours in the cooking school space.

I’ve put out lots of new preserves however – sweet chilli sauce, worcestershire sauce, piccalilli, pear chutney, apricot and pineapple jam, green tomato pickle and more. Plus there are plenty of lemon shortbread butter creams and cornflake cookies. Back to wheat breads and tartuffins tomorrow morning; all will be out by 10.30am at the latest.

Lovely morning on the farm

The grass has been presenting a problem. It’s a bit too wet to mow, even if I could manage to control the zero turn mower…. a very disconcerting piece of equipment, wheels seem to spin in all directions not relating at all to the way I want it to go. However, the sheep have come to the rescue and are delighted to have their grazing area extended to nearer the house.

Young Mo the duck has taken begging for food to a new height and now sits on the balcony rail, hoping to catch my eye so that I’ll feed her a tasty morsel or two. She and her pal Miney are always up to mischief of some sort, real pests if they weren’t so funny.

Meanwhile, Robert has made a start on cleaning off some second hand bricks to build the bread oven.

Oh yes, and the stall at the gate, it being biscuit day as all Fridays are, has cornflake cookies and lemon shortbread butter creams. By tomorrow there will be new preserves – raspberry jam, sweet chilli sauce, apricot and pineapple jam and piccalilli to add to the rest.

Stall today

Stall at our gate, here at 179 Wyre Forest Rd Molesworth, this morning – breads and other baked goods will be ready from 11am. Bread varieties – light rye loaves and spelt loaves. I will also make some sausage rolls and quince and apple tarts (by way of a change, proper tartlets as opposed to tartuffins).