Donal Skehan

The Pepper Pot’s White Yeast Loaves

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Saturday is a great time to be in Dublin city and I love spending the best part of the day there. My go-to brunch spot has to be the Pepperpot Cafe in Powerscourt Town House, with their mismatched tea sets and epic sandwiches–Mount Callan Cheddar, Bacon, and Roast Pear being my favourite! Their sandwiches are served on thick, doorstep style home-made bread and I couldn’t believe it when I got my hands on their secret recipe….

Makes three x 1lb loaves
1.5k strong white flour
30g salt
30g butter
50g yeast
875g water

Preheat the oven to 210ºC. Line three 1lb loaf tins with silicone paper. Sieve flour and salt together and then rub in the butter with your fingertips. Make a well with your hand, forming a large space in the centre with a wall of flour surrounding it. Crumble your yeast into the well and add the water. Dissolve the yeast by swirling your hands in a circular motion.

Begin to incorporate the flour, a little at a time. Knead, stretching the dough as you knead. Knead until you develop a smooth dough. Set aside and cover with a large bowl and allow to ferment for 45 minutes during which time it will expand. After 45 minutes knock the dough back, this releases the gas the yeast have produced. Quickly mould back into a round shape and set aside for a further 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes divide the dough in three and use a weighing scales to measure out each third into 800g. (Or divide again if making mini loaves). Shape into three round balls of dough. Cover again. After 5 minutes flatten with your knuckles, fold in from the sides, left to right, into the middle and roll from the top towards yourslef into a Swiss roll type shape. Place in lined tins. Dust with flour and place on top of your oven, which usually has residual heat form the warming oven, alternatively use your hot
press. Leave for 30 minutes to rise.

After 30 minutes, cut the bread with a knife giving it three traditional vertical slits and place in the oven. After a further 30 minutes remove from the tins and allow to crisp up in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove breads and place on a wired rack to cool.

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Top 10 Food Spots I Love In Dublin…

FEAST The Garden

With St Patrick’s Day fast approaching, I was delighted to be featured on one of America’s biggest food websites www.epicurious.com.  The lovely folks on the Epicurious team asked me to collate my favourite spots to eat and shop around Dublin City, and with so many great choices, it was no easy task!

If you want to read the original post have a look here or continue below to see my Top Ten Things I Love About Dublin!

1. Perfect Dublin Day: “Saturday is a great time to be in Dublin and I love spending the best part of the day there. Brunch at the Pepperpot Cafe in Powerscourt Town House, with their mismatched tea sets and epic sandwiches–Mount Callan Cheddar, Bacon, and Roast Pear being my favorite!–followed by a stroll around Grafton St. and a stop by Fallon & Byrne for some great-quality ingredients and Sheridans for the best cheese Ireland has to offer.”

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2. The Big Splurge:Chapter One. Wonderful service and incredible cooking from one of Ireland’s most widely celebrated chefs, Ross Lewis.”

3. Wallet-Friendly Meals: “One of the things I love most about the Dublin food scene is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get great-quality food. A serious sausage roll with proper Irish pork and flaky puff pastry from Lolly & Cooks in George’s Street Arcade served with a fresh salad is a great lunch. Or Skinflint in Temple Bar has a good offering of cheap and tasty dinners, and paddle-shaped pizzas with firebee [infused with chile!] honey.”

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Ever Been A Tourist In Your Own Town?

It’s not often you get to feel like a tourist in your own town, following a tour guide blindly, but that’s what I was last weekend and I loved every minute of it.  A few weeks ago I got a lovely email from the ladies who run Dublin’s Fab Food Trails asking if I might join them on one of their guided food tours around Dublin.  Intrigued by the idea, I gladly accepted with the promise of lots of foodie treats and tasters along the way.  So early on Saturday we marched along to the top secret meeting place from where the tour would begin.  We were greeted by the extremely welcoming Eveleen who has an extensive background in food and has even written her own cookbook, The Irish Potato Cookbook.

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