Tag Archives: Patrick Ryan

Fig & Walnut Rye Bread

My Beautiful Fig & Walnut Rye
My Beautiful Fig & Walnut Rye
Here's Something We Prepared Earlier!
Here’s Something We Prepared Earlier!

You may have seen my last blog post about the Sourdough I made in Firehouse Bakery & Bread School last weekend. Well while between the 6 of us we made 24 types of bread and a few cakes, I now have an abundance of bread recipes to keep my inspired, but I felt this particular recipe I had to share too. Rye is probably my favourite bread (along with my mother’s brown soda of course), and I was quite keen to learn how to make a nice rye. I find they can often be dense like a block of concrete when you buy them in bakeries, and so I was looking for the perfect light, moist rye bread. While this isn’t a 100% rye bread, it’s really nice and full of flavour and bite thanks to the figs and walnuts. It’s lovely and moist and perfect with some soft goats cheese. I enjoyed mine with a round of soft Ardsallagh goats cheese and cranberry roulade.

In my last blog post you can see how our day in Firehouse started off, and in this one how it ended. After a great day of learning, a bit of craic and lots of eating we all sat down together to enjoy a delicious meal of quiche, breads, salads, cheeses, meats and wine which Laura had prepared, and had a chat about our day. We finished off with a sampling (feast) of the cakes we had made that afternoon. After lunch we divided up the bread we had made, (and when they say you can leave with as much bread as you can carry they mean it, we had about three bags of bread each!), and set off back on the boat to the mainland just as the sun was setting!

A Hard Day's Work Rewarded With A Delicious Feast
A Hard Day’s Work Rewarded With A Delicious Feast

We had such a great day in Firehouse and learnt so much, I’d highly recommend the course to anyone with an interest in food. It caters to all level, so really don’t be intimidated! It has demystified bread for me, and I’ll definitely be making a loaf this weekend! For now, enjoy Patrick’s recipe for his Walnut & Fig Rye bread below, and let me know what you think!

Leaving Heir Island
Leaving Heir Island
Getting The Ferry Back to Cunnamore Pier
Getting The Ferry Back to Cunnamore Pier

Sponge:

350ml water

200g rye flour

10g fresh yeast or 5g dry yeast (not the fast acting kind)

Dough:

300g strong white flour

10g salt

1 tbsp honey

50g walnutes

75g figs chopped

1. In a clean bowl combine the water, flour, and yeast for the sponge. Mix the ingredients together to form a thick batter consistency. Set to one side and leave to stand for about 30 minutes. The mixture should rise and then collapse. A sponge allows the yeast to get to work without the presence of salt. A sponge helps give your dough a bigger lift and is particularly useful when using doughs that have a lot of weight to carry.

2. To form the dough, combine the flour and salt together and add the sponge and honey. Combine all the ingredients to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes until the windowpane effect has been achieved (When you hold a piece of dough up it supports its own weight and the dough appears translucent as the weight pulls it downwards, instead of ripping and falling apart.) Once the windowpane effect has been achieved add the walnuts and figs to the dough and knead for one or two minutes until the walnuts and figs have been evenly distributed. (Patrick added a dash of water to my dough when I added the nuts and figs, to keep the moisture that the figs might drink out of the dough.)

3. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for 60-90 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface and knock back the dough, allow it to prove again for a further 60 minutes. It’s ready to bake when pushed lightly with your finger, it quickly springs back.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 230C/ Gas7 and place a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven. Place the dough into the preheated oven and pour a boiling kettlle of water into the seperate preheated roasting tray to release steam into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Check on the dough after 12 minutes, if the dough is colouring to quickly (due to the honey in the dough) reduce the oven temperature to 200C and continue to bake.

5. Enjoy!

My Sponge
My Sponge
Mix Together My Dough
Mix Together My Dough
Let Prove Longer
Let Prove Longer
My Beautiful Fig & Walnut Rye
My Beautiful Fig & Walnut Rye
A Moist, Fruity, Nutty Inside
A Moist, Fruity, Nutty Inside

Sourdough Bread

My Sourdough
My Sourdough
All Our Sourdoughs
All Our Sourdoughs

I have been hearing a lot about Firehouse Bread, the bread school run by Patrick Ryan, in the last few months, and have been following their tweets filled with pictures of delicious breads, and pictures of Heir Island where they are set up. It seemed really cool, different and good craic so for Christmas I got my boyfriend and I a voucher to do the course, and last weekend we trotted down to West Cork for the ultimate bread making experience. The day started on Cunnamore Pier where we got the boat across to Heir Island and were greeted by Laura who runs Firehouse with Patrick, she drove us to Firehouse, a stunning house overlooking Roaringwater Bay. Here she brought us into their front room for tea, coffee, and some freshly baked biscuits before we got started. There were 6 of us on the course and we all quickly got chatting.

Arriving at Heir Island
Arriving at Heir Island
We Were Greeted With Tea and Homemade Biscuits
We Were Greeted With Tea and Homemade Biscuits

After Patrick introduced himself we were led into the “class room” for lack of a better word, where we immediately started on our sourdough, the first bread of the day. It was actually quite therapeutic kneading away at the sourdough if a little tiring! Sourdough is made with a “starter” and apparently the older the better. Making starter is easy but takes a while, and you feed it like a plant to keep it living, each time you make a sourdough you take a portion of your starter for the bread, and replenish the remaining starter with more water and flour for the next time you make bread. And so the cycle continues! Patricks starter was 4 years old, and apparently the older it gets, the better it tastes. (I can vouch for this, our bread tasted amazing!)

Some of the Treats We Baked Throughout The Day
Some of the Treats We Baked Throughout The Day

Sourdough is time consuming as it takes time to prove, the knock back, then prove again. However it tastes delicious, makes the best sandwiches and toast in the world, and freezes quite well. I’m sure if you get into the habit of making it though, it becomes routine. It’s also worth it for the smug “Oh I made this myself” boasts as you eat your lunchtime sandwich. It’s a great one to make on a Sunday to keep you going through the week. In fact Laura said that when the sourdough is 3 days old it’s perfect sliced, grilled and lightly oiled for bruschetta bread.  Check out Patrick’s recipe below for the perfect sourdough bread!

To Make Your Starter:

Day 1: Heat 175ml milk gently. Place 75ml natual yoghurt in a bowl and stir in the milk. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours until thickened. Stir in any liquids that may have seperated.

Day 2: Stir 120g white flour into the yoghurt, incorporating evenly. Cover and leave in a warm place for 2 days. The mixture should be full of bubbles and smell pleasantly sour.

Day 5: Add 175g flour to the starter, and mix in 40ml milk and 100ml water. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours.

Day 6: The starter should be quiet active now and be full of little bubbles. Now you can get cracking and see how many years you can keep your starter going for, some families have the same starter for generations!

White Sourdough Recipe:

500g strong unbleached white bread flour

300g sourdough starter

250ml water

10g salt

10g brown sugar

1. Mix together the flour, starter and water in a bowl. Add the salt and sugar. Turn out on to a clean kitchen surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the windowpane effect is achieved. (This basically means when you hold up a piece of the dough it supports it’s own weight and rather than tearing and falling away, it holds it self up creating a  translucent effect rather than tearing).

2. Put into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let it prove for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You won’t notice as much as a rise in the dough as you would with a normal yeast bread, it takes much longer.

3. Turn out the dough on to a clean surface and knock back (just kneading again), shape into whatever shape fits your proving bowl (bread tin will work). Flour generously and place each loaf seam side up in a bowl, lined with a couch cloth (a heavily floured tea towel will work fine), this helps you turn out the loaf. Leave prove for a further 2 1/2 hours.

4. This dough can be made the day before, allowing the fermentation process to be extended further. Once rolled place the dough into the fridge and leave overnight. Remove 1 1/2 hours before baking

5. Pre-heat the oven to 230C/ Gas7 and place a baking tray with some water or ice cubes in it in the bottom of the oven to steam the oven. Turn the loaf out on to another baking tray. Flour and score the loaf and put in in to the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaves sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

After First Prove
After First Prove
Let Prove
Let Prove A Second Time
The Bread is After Proving For a Few Hours
The Bread is After Proving For a Few Hours and Is Ready For Oven
Into The Oven Go Our Little Babies...
Into The Oven Go Our Little Babies…
My Sourdough
My Sourdough
Very Proud Of My Sourdough
Very Proud Of My Sourdough

Enjoy your delicious bread with some cheeses, tapenade and salads like we did! In front of the fire with our feet up!

Our Bread Feast At Home That Evening
Our Bread Feast At Home That Evening