Category Archives: Cooking

Proper Stotties

After making the suspiciously healthy-looking wholemeal stotties last week, out of necessity rather than choice due to not having enough strong white flour, I decided I should do it properly and make some stotties that really looked like stotties.

Despite one small deviation from the recipe (you’re meant to rub margarine into the flour before adding the other ingredients; I forgot, and substituted some sunflower oil in with the liquid later instead), they seemed to have come out about right. Certainly recognisable as a stottie by anybody born within spitting distance of the Tyne!

The only thing they’re missing is being filled with some nice thick pieces of bacon and a few lumps of decent black pudding



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Posted by on Monday 29 April 2013 in Cooking


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I thought it was about time I tried making some stotties, something I’ve never tried baking before despite eating them on a semi-regular basis.

As an added complication, it turned out that I hardly had any strong white flour, so I had to make wholemeal stotties… sounds suspiciously healthy.


They certainly look like stotties; the real test will be what they’re like inside, but we’ll have to wait and see…

[Later in the week]

I’ve been eating stotties for my lunch every day, and they seem good to me; at least, they seem like wholemeal stotties should do, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one to compare it with.


Quite a dense texture, as you’d expect, but not too heavy that it’s hard work to eat. Must remember to get strong white flour before I try it again, and maybe some with a mixture of wholemeal and white.

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Posted by on Sunday 14 April 2013 in Cooking


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Christmas-ish Bread

As I needed to make some bread, I thought it would be a good excuse to try out a couple of my Christmas presents: a baguette tray and an oval banetton.

Rather than being fancy with the ingredients, I just used a straightforward dough: strong white flour, yeast, salt, and water. Doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Mix, knead, rise and knock-back a couple of times, then split the dough: half for the banetton, three sixths for the baguettes.

The baguettes were formed by just flattening and rolling up the dough. I wasn’t sure what the best way to form the bread for the banetton, so I went for the ‘stubby cylinder’ method from the River Cottage bread book: flatten, roll up, flatten, fold by thirds and flatten to a square, then roll up again.

Everything got a nice coating of rye flour, then left to prove before having the tops slashed and placed in the oven.

The results look pretty good, although I think I need more (or possibly deeper) cuts, especially for the loaf from the banetton. Not bad for the first go, though!



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Posted by on Sunday 6 January 2013 in Cooking, Uncategorized


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Chinese Cooking

Almost completely by accident, the day after we got back from China, we found this series on BBC iPlayerExploring China: A Culinary Adventure, with Ken Hom and Ching-He Huang.

The first episode features, amongst other things, the interesting snacks available at Donghuamen Night Market, as mentioned in an earlier post. It’s also given us a couple of ideas of places to look for when we’re back in Beijing (and that’s definitely ‘when’, not ‘if’).

I’m definitely hoping to improve my Mandarin before we go back; I think it’ll make it much easier to escape from the places that cater to tourists, and experience more of the authentic cuisine.

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Posted by on Tuesday 21 August 2012 in China, Cooking


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