Pastry week in the Great British Bake Off had a technical that was so unheard of even Mary didn't have a clue what it was. That didn't bode well for the bakers, and even with a little research, me. What I struggled most with was the pronunciation, which I believe is Floo-ow-nays, but I could be totally wrong. I searched the internet high and low (okay so page 2 of google search), and found a helpful website that gave me three different ways to say it. Not that it helped
I thought I had fallen at the first hurdle, getting the ingredients. I couldn't for the life of me find Mastic Powder or Mahlepi Powder. But all was not lost! After a shout out on twitter and to the GBBO Facebook baking group I am a part of, there was a clear winner. Steenbergs Organics, based in Yorkshire, England had exactly what I was needing. So I ordered some and they arrived promptly and safely in a few days. If you are needing anything obscure, I am sure these guys have it, so pop over to their site and have a look here
Once they had arrived, I was well on my way to success. I even bought myself a Pestle and Mortar to grind the Mastic with, proper alchemic type stuff these days. The new struggle I had while making this was NOT eating the cheese. How was I to be around 750g of grated cheese goodness and NOT stuff it all in my mouth. I would be lying if I said I didn't sneak some though, for quality control purposes only, I assure you.
The cheese was grated, the flour and sultana mix was added, along with the milk and eggs. Then I got to use my hands to mix it, which is one of my favourite things to do while baking. I'm such a tactile creative, I love being hands on, so this was BRILLIANT! I think thats why I like baking, its all very hands on, and delicious.
With the pastry resting for an hour, it was time to get my sesame seeds ready. This was where I hit a snag, I bought the wrong seeds. I had mistaken Linseeds for Sesame Seeds, which LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME! Anyway, the preparation for this now seemed to make some sort of weird paste, though I think I could utilise it in future. The goo that was created by the seeds are most certainly of the same consistency as egg whites, so I am sure could be used in a vegan bake. I am not vegan, but some of my friends are so I think its nice to make things they can enjoy (and shamelessly plug my baking at the same time).
All out of 15cm diameter plates (the horror) meant I had to get creative, and remembering a craft session in primary school making snowflakes, made a circle out of rectangular paper. The instructions are -very quickly- explained in the video that coincides with this blog post, so you can catch it there. Just in case its too quick though, here are the 8 steps from rectangle to circle.
Circles made, filling placed gently on and sides folded up into triangles, as the recipe calls for, unlike the squares requested on Bake Off itself. I figured I would follow the recipe as close as I could, so as to absolve myself from blame if it went wrong, you know, the adult way of saying, 'It wasn't me.' Baked for 15 minutes at 200ºC and then another 15minutes at 180ºC meant they were baked to perfection. Though I really should get a new seal for the oven door and an oven thermometer as I doubt my oven is remotely close to these temperatures.
Now all that is left to do is exercise all this cheese fat off my 30 year old middle and I am sorted. I really enjoyed this bake, and thanks to my vast supply of spices from Steenbergs, ill be sure to make these again.
Thanks for reading, don't forget to watch the video of my triumph below.
See you all again soon.