Dough boy

Little Buller Spur

Hi Tony,

I’ve heard you are having some (tasty) wildlife issues on the island? Be interested to hear what recipes you come up with for them. Perhaps a nice game terrine?

As mentioned, we have been up at Mt Buller every weekend this season. It has been quite the season! Not only lots of snow, but snow of the kind you normally expect to find in North America or Europe. On Friday night, it was snowing at the entrance gate. First time I have seen that in about 25 years.

Mt Buller

One of things I find thoroughly entertaining, given we are staying in a lodge, is the amount of food people bring up. Sure, you’re out in the cold for a goodly portion of the day and maybe, just maybe, skiing pretty hard too (have no fear, that doesn’t include me).

I walked into the lodge on Friday night to see mountains of food stacked in the pantries. Thinking an infantry battalion was staying for 6 months in the modest 18 bed lodge gave way to the realisation that those up for the weekend had simply over-catered.

I haven’t had to cook in 3 weekends, with dinners with friends every night so far. Each is well versed in quantity planning, so I have been able to maintain my weight. My turn to cook this weekend, me thinks. The challenge is finding space in a crowded shared kitchen, so 1 pot dishes are preferred. I am erring on pulling some duck ragu from the freezer and serve it with some rissoni. Perhaps with a few slices of my hand-made bread? And a green salad. Can’t bring myself to make a 2kg lasagne for the 2 us.

If you’re interested in making some pretty easy bread, which is crusty and much goodness, I make a pasta dura. Try this, if you dare! Oh, word of advice, use scales and a good thermometer. Using those measuring cups/etc. simply won’t work.

250gm each of good baker’s flour and semolina

10g salt

5g dry yeast (much better than fresh yeast)

10ml light oil or fat

300ml water

Mix the dry ingredients together (you can add mixed seeds if you like, but add a little extra water if you do). Measure the temp of the dry mix (this is critical). Add the oil/butter/fat. Subtract the temperature of the dry mix from 50 and that is the temp the water you add needs to be (e.g. if the dry mix is 22C, the water must be 28C). Add the water and mix by hand until smooth. This will probably take about 10 mins. Cover in the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in warm place with no draft for 1-2 hours. Mould into a loaf by pressing out into rectangle, fold corners in like you would for a paper plane and roll tightly (seam down). Return to bowl, cover and set aside until doubled in size.

Pre-heat oven to 220C. Spray loaf lightly with water and put in oven for 20 mins, spraying with water 2-3 times in that time. Reduce heat to 180C and cook another 40 mins. Remove and allow to cool a little.

I cook mine on a pizza dish with holes in it. Gives the loaf a great crust, but soft and good inside. Spread with lashings of butter and good honey or jam.

Pasta Dura

Not sure how I will go with a strange oven, but it is so worth the 3-4 hours to make. Perhaps you may have some time on the island to give it a go?

Better go and get some dinner sorted for my bride.



One thought on “Dough boy”

  1. Nice one Dan. The snow looks fantastic!
    So here’s my shopping list for next time I’m in the big smoke:
    baker’s flour
    dry yeast

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