Matthew Evans, aka the Gourmet Farmer, is back on our screens for a new season of his back-to-basics food show. And if there's one thing that is key to country baking, it's homemade dough.
Part cake, part pie, the classic shortcake looks and tastes delicious. The dough can be rolled out between sheets of plastic or baking paper before being pressed into the baking dish.
"Because it's a cake-like mixture, it's like pastry it doesn't really matter if it's thicker in some places than others. It will have a chance to cook through." It even gets mother Evans' tick of approval!
You'll love this no-knead dough recipe - it’s very easy to handle for the home cook. The flavour in the base comes from letting the dough rest overnight. If you don’t have a wood-fired oven, bake your pizza on trays in a covered barbecue to give the best chance of a lightly charred bottom.
Pastry is the base for so many amazing dishes, both savoury and sweet, so knowing how to pull together a quick puff, shortcut or filo is great kitchen know-how.
Matthew's advice: when making your pastry, start by combining the fat and flour (queue the messy fingers!) until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add in the water slowly, adding and mixing until the dough comes together.
Try your hand at some homemade pastry with Matthew's recipe for spicy kamb keema pasties
When it comes to homemade bread, "I was really eager to knead it and to do lots of work. Now what I've discovered is that if I leave it a while, leave it overnight, you don't need to knead." 10/10 for the poetry, 10/10 for the tip.
Matthew's method (see video below) involves very little effort to bring a delicious sourdough loaf to life. Who needs hipster bakeries?
You can make these basic biscuits really thin like brandy snaps, or a bit thicker. Matthew likes them somewhere inbetween so they’re firm, but not entirely crisp. For this recipe, melt your butter with honey until just dissolved and make sure it's lukewarm when you add the flour.
Forget the sort you get in a packet. Homemade crumpets look different (usually having way fewer holes), and taste far better. It’s ideal to use proper crumpet rings for these, but egg rings will work just fine too – they are just smaller so you’ll take longer to cook the crumpets.
This potato, Gorgonzola and sage recipe combine buckwheat and '00' pasta flours. When you combine the flours, make a well in the centre, add your eggs and then using a fork draw in the flour, working from the centre outwards before using your hands to create a smooth dough.
There isn't really much that the humble flatbread doesn't go with. What's more, they're really simple to put together and cook in 10 minutes!
When it comes time to kneading, divide the dough into four pieces, which makes it easier to work with. They can be perfectly cooked in a wood fired-oven, or simply in a pan on the stove.
Try these yoghurt flatbreads at home to serve with dinner tonight.
Haloumi – that squeaky cheese from the Middle East usually made with a bit of goat’s milk in it. It's lovely first cheese to try to make, because it’s a bit more forgiving.