Hop Yeast Bread

I’ve had the request for the recipe for the hop yeast bread, so here we go – the recipe was given to me by Mavis Beattie of the Derwent Valley. She has also generously shared the recipe with the local garden club, who printed it their newsletter some time ago.

I do still have three lovely sourdough plants resting in the fridge that a friend gave me a little while ago. They are amazing too, each with their own inherent flavours. I am careful not to neglect them as I have been known to do with my own in the past – these three are really special. It would be a tragedy not to look after them.

Bread is such a wonderful, homey thing to make and bake, the varieties almost endless. When it’s in the oven baking it has to be one of the most cheering aromas in the world.
Mavis Beattie’s Bread Recipe with Homemade Hop Yeast

Hop Yeast starter

1 organic potato – unpeeled (scrubbed), 1 tablespoon hops and water to cover well. Boil until cooked. Cool.

Mix 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon sugar to a smooth paste using a little of the cooled liquid. Tip this mixture into a saucepan containing the cooled hop/potato mixture. Mash everything and pour into the bottle in which you have put 4 organic sultanas. Set in a warm place to work.

I use a 1.25 litre plastic lemonade or tonic water screw top bottle. It takes the pressure better than a glass bottle.

Hop and potato yeast – to feed plant (after about 4 days)

Boil a medium potato in about 3 cups water until tender. Place a small handful of hops in a mixing bowl. Pour over the boiling potato water. Allow to cool. Hops should have sunk to the bottom.

When cool, add liquid only to 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Mix together and top up the starter. Fill the bottle to no more than ¾. Screw the lid down firmly.

Mixture is ready to bake when you undo the bottle and the ‘starter’ rushes out.

To make Hop-Potato Yeast Bread (basic recipe)

Put 1 cup flour in a mixing bowl. Pour in about 1 – 1 ½ cups of bubbling starter. Mix, then leave overnight in a warm place (I sit mine in a cupboard on top of the hot water cylinder).

Next morning – add about 1 pint water (warm) alternately with extra 4 to 5 cups flour to make a soft dough.

If not using bread-mix flour, add a small handful of salt. Mix to a soft-firm dough, leave to rise.

Knock back and put in bread tins. When risen, cook 30 to 40 minutes (20 minutes on High 200 degrees C, and 10 to 20 minutes on 180 degrees C.

Oil can be added, any kind of flour can be used.

Hop/Potato Yeast plant

A lovely sight to get up to on this fine spring morning. Nellie, the hop/potato yeast plant, is bubbling away nicely and certainly ready for her task of rising the bread today.

This recipe was given to me by a lady in our local community, passed down through generations.  It can be made from scratch just a few days beforehand.  I prefer it to sourdough, much more obliging (as I tend to neglect the latter).

The potato yeast just sits quietly in the jar between baking days, and is very easily reactivated when you want to use it again.

Happy to provide the recipe should anyone want it – just let me know.


Day Trippers

We assumed the role of day-trippers yesterday, taking a leisurely drive to our former home region of Eaglehawk Neck.

Beautiful day, idyllic conditions, incredible scenery, simply stunning.

Lufra Cove, a mere 5 minutes walk from our old house was, as anticipated, incredibly beautiful as ever, the waves gently breaking over the rocks of the bay.


resized_20160917_110651resized_20160917_110210Daffodils and bluebells grow wild around the grassy banks at this time of year, even tiny blue orchids if you know where to look.


The little bridge that crosses the creek is still standing, the water flowing lazily as always. It’s a sight to behold after a good downpour though – then it runs raging into the sea.resized_20160917_111523We walked down Pirates Bay Drive from our previous house to the Tessellated Pavement, noting along the way that even our secret blackberry patch by the roadside remains unchanged.


We went on to follow the road around the peninsula, ‘doing the loop’ through Nubeena, visiting the local market and catching up with friends, and then round past Port Arthur.

A brief stop for a lunch of freshly cooked local fish at Dunalley, a visit to see a darling little grandson at Primrose Sands and finally the return to our home in the Valley completed a fabulous, nostalgic and relaxing day.

Salmon, Leek and Corn Tart

I’ve also had requests for the salmon tart I made to take in to the ABC yesterday.

I kind of made it up as I went along, as is my custom, but have now pieced it together again and put it down on ‘paper’.

The pastry is made extra tasty by the inclusion of a little creamed corn.

I threw out the packet of wood smoked salmon, so don’t know the actual weight sorry.  I bought it at Woolworths – it’s with the other packets of smoked salmon.  There were 3 slices to the packet (each about 1cm thick) – hot wood smoked, and then vacuum sealed on a blue tray.  Can’t even remember the brand.  Given these clues I hope you can find it.

Anyway, here is the recipe, along with a photo of when it first came from the oven.

Salmon, Leek and Corn Quiche

Serves 6 to 8

For the pastry:

200g plain flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

100g butter, diced

1 egg, lightly whisked

¼ cup creamed corn

1/3 cup water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and butter. Process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl.

Whisk together the egg, corn ad water and mix into the other mixture until a soft dough is formed, adding a little extra water if necessary. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Grease a slice or rectangular flan tin 18cm x 28cm (approximately).

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 6mm thick and then lift into the tray (you will have to much, there will be quite a bt of onverhang). Press into the corners and base and trim off excess.

Any leftover pastry can be wrapped in cling film and be used next day, or freeze for up to 3 months).

For the Filling

 50g butter

2 leeks, white part only, finely sliced

1 small red capsicum, diced

3 slices wood smoked salmon, pulled into 6mm flakes

60g cold smoked salmon slices, diced

Remainder of 400g tin creamed corn (see pastry ingredients)

5 eggs, lightly whisked

¾ cup cream

½ cup grated tasty cheese

3 teaspoons sweet chilli sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice, optional

2 spring onions, sliced

Melt the butter over medium heat then add the leeks and cook over medium low heat until almost softened, then add the capsicum and cook for 45 minutes more. Cool.

Mix in the salmon. And then spoon evenly over the pastry base. Sprinkle the cheese over.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, corn and sweet chilli sauce and add salt and white pepper to taste.

Pour carefully over the salmon mixture. Sprinkle with the topping.

For the topping

 1 cup cornflakes

125g grated tasty cheese

¼ cup parmesan

1 teaspoon curry powder

¼ teaspoon stock powder (vegetable or chicken)

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

To Bake

Have oven pre-heated to 190 degrees C (fan forced) and bake the tart for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 160 degrees and cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set and the topping is golden brown and crunchy.

This was very well received, as was the strawberries and cream slice I took along.


Instead of the usual filling I make with cream cheese, lemons and condensed milk, I simply combined 300g of yoghurt cheese (that had been hanging for 24 hours) and 300g of the lemon curd I’d made the day before.  In my opinion it is much nicer, less sweet and more tangy, less cloying than the other version.

And isn’t it great to be able to buy fresh and decent quality strawberries again?


Lorrie’s Salmon Cottage Pie

Here’s the recipe that Lorraine rang in yesterday during the Jams and Preserves talkback on 936 ABC radio Tasmania.  I’ve had many requests for this since then.

I made this for dinner last night – test tasters here approved wholeheartedly.  I did find I needed to use about a quarter of a cup more milk in the sauce, but that is often the case as on any given day, flour will absorb differing amounts of liquid.

Lorrie’s Salmon Cottage Pie

 50g butter

60g flour

1 cup milk

3 skinless salmon portions, cut into small cubes

30g seeded mustard

2 tablespoons grated lemon rind

1 cup grated tasty cheese

½ cup parmesan

Melt the butter and then stir in the flour. Cook for one minute.

Gradually add the milk, stirring, and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for a minute.

Stir in the salmon, cheese, mustard and lemon rind.

Spoon into four one cup capacity ramekins or a casserole dish and top with mashed potato. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake for 12 minutes in a moderate oven for the ramekins or approximately 20 minutes for the larger dish.


The Baby Shower

Loads of fun last weekend. 179 Wyre Forest Road became the site of a temporary Seussville, dedicated for the day to the Dr Seuss themed baby shower for daughter-in-law Cassie and son Elliott.



Robert had been hand painting characters from the books, and the food carried through with the theme as well.




Of course there were the green eggs and ham, a Yot Pot (full of meatballs), dozens and dozens of sausage rolls, Cat in the Hat jellies, Truffula tree style rum balls and coloured jelly cakes.

Not to be forgotten was Carmichael the outdoor bread oven, who cooked around 60 pizzas during the course of the afternoon.

By way of drinks there was pink lemonade (of the raspberry and redcurrant kind), and a little homemade beer for the boys.

In pride of place was the cake, baked and crafted by daughter Stephanie, a masterful tribute to Dr Seuss and the little baby girl soon to be born.


Lovely people, great fun, a wonderful day all round.

It would be sad that the party was over BUT in a couple of weeks time daughter-in-law Emma will have a similar baby shower here, different theme, so Robert is off painting again, loving every minute.

We are so lucky to be able to share in the happiness that surrounds the arrival of these two new grandbabies. To add a party to the mix is just perfect.

Pumpkin Cake Recipe

I’ve had several requests for the recipe for the pumpkin cake that I spoke about last evening.

It’s from my Nan’s old handwritten recipe book, a truly treasured possession.

The recipes are all written in her spidery hand, with Indian ink now smudged with the passing of time.

She was an exceptional cook, this Nan, my Dad’s mum.  She had worked in her parents’ bakery until she married, so when she deemed a recipe worthy of inclusion in this book they are guaranteed to be exceptional.

The only change I have made to the recipe is to use butter instead of margarine, and to convert from imperial measures to metric.

It’s certainly worth making, it’s by far the most popular cake I make for family and friends.


Nan Purton’s Pumpkin Cake



250g butter

1 cup sugar

¾ teaspoon natural lemon essence

2 eggs

1 cup cold mashed pumpkin

1 cup plain flour

1 cup self raising flour

375g to 500g mixed dried fruit

Heat oven to 150°C. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line base with baking paper.

Cream the butter, sugar and lemon essence (or rind) together, then whisk in the eggs. Mix in the pumpkin, then the combined flours and mix with a metal spoon until the cake batter is smooth. Fold in the dried fruit. Spoon batter into tin, making sure that there are no air pockets.

Bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin, and afterwards store in an airtight container or wrapped in foil. If possible, leave the cake a few days before eating.

The Feathered Ladies’ Bounty

Thought I’d make a couple of pumpkin fruit cakes this evening. When I reached for the eggs, this is what I found.


Can you spot the duck’s egg? It’s actually the one on the right. The one in the middle is a chook’s egg, truly. The one on the left is a regular sized chook egg.

One of our feathered ladies is working very hard indeed. The egg was a double-yolker of course.

The chooks in fact are all working overtime – so many eggs here, full cartons all over the place – 6 dozen on the bench in the house, as many again in the fridge, and at least that number out in the cooking school.

Meanwhile outside fired-up Herman is glowing nicely in the dark, a lovely sight on a chilly spring evening. This is in readiness for some full-on baking sessions over the next few days ……


The Boss Returns

The lounge room is in desperate need of a vacuum, but who would want (or dare) to disturb dear old Tom, so contentedly sleeping in his bean bag in the morning sun? Unthinkable.


He’s been a bit distant of late, and very grumpy when he did come inside, only sleeping out of sight in the top of the wardrobe.

Perhaps he wasn’t happy with all the activity of the past few days, I guess we’ll never know. But one thing’s for sure, he’s back now with a vengeance, dominating the household, human and other domestic pets, as is his custom.

It’s a far cry from his former feral life, dear old man. We are so happy his temper has improved and he’s returned to being as companionable and talkative as ever.

We’re sure there’s no other cat quite like him, just adorable.

The other (half) book

Meanwhile ….. on the HarperCollins website, the cover has been revealed for the other publication – the book that ABC’s Paul McIntyre and I have written together.

This is not, of course, related in any way to my next cookbook “Ultimate Slow Cooker” of the past week’s frenetic photo shoot activity.

Paul and I are absolutely delighted with the cover image for our book. It’s a little something different, an extension beyond cooking with wonderful lifestyle pieces written by the very talented Paul.

Here is that cover image – hope you like it as much as we do. Many thanks to our publisher for coming up with such a great design for us, truly reflective of the theme of the book.


Here are the publisher’s comments about the book:

“How to slow down, live more mindfully and savour the simple joys of life Part nostalgia, part how-to guide, The Little Book of Slow offers practical suggestions, recipes and more for making delicious food from scratch and cultivating meaningful activities and pastimes. Bestselling cookbook author Sally Wise teams up with radio personality Paul McIntyre to help you slow your life down, relax and de-stress with vintage inspiration from a more leisurely time. Discover how to make your own bread, pickles and preserves, fresh cheeses and yoghurt. Pack the perfect picnic, cook over a campfire or host a vintage-style high tea. Or be inspired to take up slow hobbies and pastimes like beachcombing, collecting vinyl, playing boardgames or cards and holding dinner parties.”

This book is due for release late January/early February 2017.

(“Ultimate Slow Cooker” release date is March 2017).