Been using a spare day to try out some new recipes. Cooking a large granary sourdough in a cast iron casserole worked well. I made the dough wetter than I would have a for a free form loaf and kept the lid on for the first 2/3 of the baking time then cooked it uncovered for 15-20 mins. Good taste and texture but now I know it works I will try it even wetter next time hoping I can create those lovely big holes!
Another success was the Turkish Pide bread (http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/12772/turkish+pide). Our neighbour brought us back a loaf from the Turkish end of Cyprus and it was delicious: sesame, fennel and nigella seeds give it a gorgeous flavour and it is great with cheese so I am taking a loaf as a ‘guest’ bread to Toby (The Cheeseplate, Buntingford; http://thecheeseplate.co.uk) tomorrow in the hope that it may become a regular.
Also made some mixed peel with orange predominating in preparation for Panetonne. Made this last year for the first time and the difference between shop bought mixed peel and home made is enormous; well worth the effort (http://www.waitrose.com/home/recipes/recipe_directory/h/homemade_candied_peel.html). I made some buns and paired the orange candied peel with chopped plain chocolate but made the mistake of adding some mixed spice. Not only did this turn the buns a dark colour but the spice, seriously upset the yeast, as do alcohol and sugar, so it was touch and go whether they would rise even after many hours.