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Independent Thinking from Great Artisan












Wonderful Ripe Explosive
























Expresses the Exceptional and Rare Climate













Our specialty is seafood where we take a pared down approach. Less is better. And over the last decade we have been working out how to best cook freshly gathered funghi. Then there are recipes which we have used successfully over many years. These are adaptations of recipes we have taken from books and we will give you our source. Mostly these will lead back to another book.

Our Recipes

The Use of Decanters to Create Theatre at a Xmas Lunch
Friday, 6th October, 2017 - David Farmer

You can find great food in humble restaurants and spotting these places before the crowd arrives is most satisfying. In general though the great restaurants of the world, though I only know France and Australia well, are not modest in appearance. It seems success at the highest level of cooking is associated with creating a similar level of ambience, even luxury, as after-all the clientele are wealthy. more...

All About Chinese Tea, Part 2
The Famous and Special Teas of China

Wednesday, 2nd March, 2011 - David Farmer

I was fortunate to spend time in China in the late 1970's and early 1980's which came about from one of the poorly thought out business ideas of my brother and I to import tea from China. What follows comes from notes I took during an extended stay in June, 1980. I believe this information will prove quite useful to those who love tea and its many types. more...

All About Chinese Tea, Part 1
Thursday, 16th July, 2009 - David Farmer

I was fortunate to spend time in China in the late 1970's and early 1980's which came about from one of the poorly thought out business ideas of my brother and I to import tea from China. What follows comes from notes I took during an extended stay in June, 1980. I believe this information will prove quite useful to those who love tea and its many types. more...

A Fish Sauce and Tony Bilson's Whiting Quenelles
Sunday, 28th June, 2009 - David Farmer

Elizabeth David

Catching and eating fish is the ultimate life's pleasure. I seldom use a sauce as the approach to fish is cook them when fresh and keep it simple. With that said for a number of years I have experimented with a recipe of the great Elizabeth David which was published in The Complete Imbiber, No. 6. (Vista Books, London, 1963). more...


- Rabbit Pie with Pine Mushrooms

Friday, 5th June, 2009



- Mark Lloyd of Coriole Talks About Olives and Oil

Friday, 28th March, 2008



- Tales about Oysters, Opening and Eating

Thursday, 6th December, 2007



- Yeast Leavened Pancakes

Thursday, 22nd February, 2007



- Peasant Mushroom Soup

Friday, May 26th, 2006



- Fish, Eggs and Steaming Bream

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006



- Cheong Liew's Steamed Eggplant with Tomato Chilli Sauce

Tuesday, 28th February, 2006



- Time for Saucing

Friday, 24th February, 2006



- Slippery Jacks in August?

Wednesday, 17th August, 2005



- Lentilles du Puy

Friday, 5th August, 2005



- A Delightful Warm Vegetable Salad

Wednesday, 20th April 2005



- A Tasty Fish Soup

Friday, 28th January, 2005



- The French Pizza from Provence - Pissaladiere

Friday, 28th January, 2005



- Another Broad Bean Option

Wednesday, 3rd November, 2004



- A Good Recipe for Broad Beans

Saturday, 30th October, 2004



- The Collection and Smoking of Mussels

Sunday, 18th October, 2004



- Cooking East Coast Whiting

Thursday, 14th October, 2004



- A Great Yabby Recipe

Saturday, 17th October, 2004



- The Perfect Fish Batter

Friday, 8th October, 2004



- Flathead Sushi

Wednesday, 15th September, 2004



- A Classic Carp Recipe

Wednesday, 4th August, 2004


Yeast Leavened Pancakes
Thursday, 22nd February, 2007 - David Farmer

For many years at my coastal hame on the south coast of N.S.W. I have made yeast leavened pancakes as a morning after starter. We are slow to rise which is just as well as an hour or more is needed for the yeast to ferment to create the desirable batter. There are of course standard recipes using plain and self raising flour but if you wish to use yeast the bible is Elizabeth David’s, English Bread and Yeast Cookery first published in 1977. By any measure this is one of the great cooking books.

Two chapters hone in on the making of pancakes; Crumpets and Muffins and Yeast Leavened Pancakes and Oatcakes. These two chapters cover a great number of recipes and techniques and the similarities of ingredients means there is no clear differences over how you build the batter between for example a crumpet or a pancake. The table below summarises a range of recipes which shows the general similarity of ingredients across the great number of variations of the theme.

In summary the following variations alter the final blend.

1. Yeast leavened pancakes and oatcakes use stronger flours than crumpets and muffins. Use is made of coarse to fine oatmeal, barley flour which is strongly flavoured, unbleached flours, buckwheat flours and general wholemeal flours most of which are available in Australia. Crumpets and muffins tend to be made from refined flours. These leavened cakes would once have served as bread substitutes.

2. The mixing agent is milk, a blend of milk and water or water alone.

3. Eggs may be included and the quantity can vary from a single egg to many. A variation is to mix in the yolks and blend in the beaten whites after the batter has risen and then let it rise again.

4. An option is to include a small quantity of butter, olive oil, clarified butter or some other fat that is melted and included when warming the milk as a starter for the yeast.

5. The flavour can be changed by using sour cream or butter milk and this is required for a savoury pancake such as Russian blinis.

6. You may add a teaspoon of sugar to the batter. Personally I do not like any sweetness and this can be introduced later as jam or maple syrup etc.

7. Do you let the dough or batter rise once or twice. After the first rise some recipes blend in warm water or beaten eggs or egg white and let the batter rise again. It seems that the best results come from the double rise but this is not always possible with time restraints. David makes the point many times that the batter benefits with a double rise as highlighted by this quote from an earlier cook book; ‘less won’t do, more won’t hurt it.’

8. Do you contain the batter in a cooking ring, such as to make a crumpet or do you not.

From the chapter "Yeast Leavened Pancakes and Oatcakes"
Welsh Oatmeal Pancakes
Ingredients
100% Oatmeal or a 50-50% blend of oatmeal and unbleached plain flour
Yeast
Salt
One egg
Two tablespoons of butter milk
One pint of water

Preparation hints
Soak overnight
Make runny dough the object being thin pancakes
Yorkshire Riddle Bread
Ingredients
Oatmeal
Wild yeast - Make a sourdough or leaven
Water

Preparation hints
Leave the oatmeal and water till the mix goes sour. You do not add yeast so we are looking for wild yeast fermentation. Mix the leaven with the oatmeal. The batter should be stiff but pourable. Preparing leaven is not simple and will require a great deal of trial and error* (see below).

Staffordshire Oatcakes
Ingredients
Fine oatmeal and plain bread flour
Yeast
Salt
A mix of water and milk

Preparation hints
Cream the yeast with warm milk. A thin batter is needed that curls at the edge when cooked.

Barley Pancakes
Ingredients
Plain flour and barley flour
Yeast
Salt
Milk
Four Eggs

Preparation hints
Cream the yeast. Let the batter rise then beat in the eggs and the rest of the milk. Leave and let rise again. The batter must be very thin. Another version uses cheese.

Russian Blinis
Ingredients
Buckwheat flour and white flour
Yeast
Milk
Sour Cream
Two or three eggs
Salt

Preparation hints
Separate the eggs. Stir the yolks with the cream and add to the milk and yeast mix. After rising fold in the beaten whites. Small diameter and thick and serve with bacon, butter, anchovies, salmon roe and thick sour cream.

Bockings
Ingredients
Buckwheat flour
Yeast
Milk
Many eggs - eight is suggested

Preparation hints
Warm the milk and add the flour and yeast. Add the eggs and then as much milk as needed to make a usual pancake.
From the chapter, "Crumpets and Muffins"
Muffins
Ingredients
White flour
Yeast
Milk
Eggs
Butter

Preparation hints
Melt butter into the milk and add the yeast and flour and beat thoroughly
Crumpets 1841
Ingredients
Fine flour
Milk
Water
Yeast
Eggs

Preparation hints
Beat two eggs and add to the warm milk and water. Add the yeast and beat in the fine flour.

Yeast Muffins and Crumpets 1914
Ingredients
Fine flour
Butter
One egg
German yeast
Teaspoon of sugar
Milk
Pinch of salt

Preparation hints
Warm the butter and milk and add the yeast and sugar. Pour into the flour centre and add the beaten yeast.

Muffins 1927
Ingredients
Flour
Yeast
Water
Salt

Preparation hints
A recipe for the purist

English Muffins 1973
Ingredients
Strong plain flour and household flour
Yeast
Salt-one level tablespoon
Sugar-half a teaspoon
Olive oil, butter, clarified butter or lard
Milk
Water
Rice flour for dusting

Preparation hints
Mix and warm the two flours. Use rice flour for dusting. Cook very slowly.

Crumpets 1973
Ingredients
A mix of plain and strong flour
Water
Milk
Yeast
Sugar - a teaspoon
Oil
Bi-carbonate of Soda-half a teaspoon

Preparation hints
For the second rise mix in some warm water and the bi-carbonate of soda.

Leicestershire Pikelet 1841
Ingredients
Flour
Milk
4 eggs
Yeast
Nutmeg
Salt

Preparation hints
Mix a thick batter. A most hearty pikelet.

Staffordshire Pikelets 1909
Ingredients
Flour
German yeast
Milk
Salt
2 eggs

Preparation hints
The author of this version favours a thin batter.

Welsh Crumpets
Ingredients
Plain flour or unbleached flour
Milk
Water
Yeast
Salt
One egg
Butter-quarter of an ounce

Preparation hints
Warm the milk and water, use a little to cream the yeast. Dissolve the butter and salt in the warm milk mixture and beat in the egg. Mix the flour and yeast then beat all together. Leave to rise.

* Jeffrey Steingarten in his book, "The Man Who Ate Everything" has a chapter, Primal Bread, which documents his amusing attempts to make bread (sour dough) using wild yeast cultures.

The Elizabeth David Pancake

David’s preferred recipe is the ‘English Muffins, 1973. This is how she goes about it. Warm the flour mix in the oven. Mix the milk, water, and olive oil or fat and warm to blood heat. Use a little of this to cream the yeast with the sugar.

When the flour is warm stir in the salt, add the creamed yeast and then the liquid. Mix well. Cover and leave to rise for about 50 minutes.

Divide the dough into portions and mould each muffin into a round shape. At this stage she dusts each with rice flour and the board on which they sit. Leave for another 40 minutes but not so long they lose their shape.

Let the muffins cook very slowly over very moderate heat allowing up to 8-10 minutes for each side. They should be 1.5 to 2 inches thick and honeycombed inside.

Several features stand out. The first is the care taken to warm the flour to assist in the rising of the batter. Next the use of rice flour which is excellent for handling sticky dough. Incidentally about 10% in normal short crust makes a much better pastry. Then the slow almost delicate cooking.

The Tuross Pancake

I vary the blend depending upon what is in the cupboard but my favourite is a variation of the Staffordshire Pikelets.

I like to use unbleached whole-meal flour but I sieve out the coarse bran flakes. A teaspoon of salt is added to the flour. Warm the milk and add the yeast and I add more not less of the yeast. I do not dilute with water. If pressed for time I beat two eggs into the milk and yeast base. Add this to the flour mix, beat to a creamy constituency and let rise for one hour.

If you have time let the first rise take place then add the beaten eggs with a teaspoon of very soft butter or olive oil. At this stage you can also adjust the mix by making it runnier if desired by blending in warmed milk. Then let it sit for another hour, A good mix has lots and lots of surface bubbles. In other words a violent yeast reaction is taking place.

Warm the pan and grease with butter and ladle in the mix. I do one at a time and serve so you may want to work two pans if there are lots of mouths to feed. I like quite a thick pancake but it is very simple as explained to make then very thin. You can create wonderful patterns as you pour the mix into the hot pan. Bubbles should explode on the surface when cooking. Turn, cook the other side briefly and serve.

Having spent two years in Canada I serve with maple syrup but also offer jams and a variety of fruit such as rock melon and strawberries. This is of course a long shift from the tradition of these cakes which were spread with butter.



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