Skills Page

Hello and welcome to the skills page!
Here is where you find step-by-step guides on the skills and techniques that come up in the blog.
I will update this page as and when I need to, but if there is anything specific I haven't yet covered and you want me to go over it, just let me know and I will do my best to put it up here as soon as possible!
(I will try to get some photos or maybe a video up ASAP)

Kneading

Rough and Tough
Kneading is quite possibly one of my favorite skills, and when it comes to making bread, you need to knead! (haha!)
1. Place your dough on a lightly floured (or oiled depending on your preference) surface, don't worry if it's not enough, you can always add more later, but for now, don't do too much.
Soft as a baby's bottom!
2. With the heel of your hand, push part of the dough away from you, causing it to stretch.
3. With the other hand, fold it over and roll it back to you.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 until the bread is soft as a baby's bottom and that when you gently press your finger into it, it will rise up again, like breathing.

Breadcrumbing
(I don't really think that's a word, but whatever)

Go from this...
Technically what breadcrumbing is is covering each particle of flour in a layer of fat (sounds gross i know) however, breadcrumbing is a really useful skill for crumble and any pastry and pie, it's also really simple, though it does work your hand muscles!

1. Add the flour with the butter and anything else. (make sure the butter is room temperature and it makes it a LOT easier if you cut it up into small chunks)
...to this!
2. Using ONLY your fingertips to save it getting soggy, and rub the butter into the flour (or the flour into the butter-nevertheless, the same principle applies)
3. You will start to notice how it is getting less floury and more breadcrumby. If you do, you're doing it right! (well done!).
4. Once all the butter disappears, STOP! If you don't it will just turn into a ball of pastry. You should be able to gentle sift the breadcrumbs through your fingers.

De-Seeding A Vanilla Pod

Although vanilla pods are very expensive, they add a little je ne sais quoi to whatever you happen to be making, plus, I personally find the little black dots quite aesthetically pleasing.

1. With the blunt side of the knife, push it against one end of the pod and then run it along to the other end whilst holding the pod down at the end you started at with your other hand. Always do this away from you, this is easier and safer.
2. Then, slice it in half length-ways and run the knife along it so that all the innards gather up onto the knife.
3. Put the vanilla into your mixture and do with the outer skin as you will. (I use my dried up vanilla pods and my pod skins in my home made vanilla essence)