Saturday, 9 November 2013

Boston Baked Beans on Sourdough Toast.

Okay, that sounds like something only dear Nigella would think up to call beans on toast, but it happens to be the truth. If you remember (those of you who have been reading long enough) that way back last March or April time I started a sourdough starter and began learning how to make my own sourdough loaf? Well I haven't really updated since, but I am thrilled to say that the same sourdough starter is still alive! That is about 7 months and counting, still as healthy as can be and producing great bread. As for me, I think I have improved no end since those first loaves and am knocking one out about every 5 days or so. This was yesterdays offering:


I really do love making it and I really enjoy the 'dark' taste of sourdough loaves and especially the wonderful toast it makes and the starter is almost like a pet. (for those of you unsure, sourdough is a bread made without yeast but using a starter which is kept alive by feeding with flour and water, it then produces it's own natural yeast)

Yesterday I decided to make my own baked beans to go with the bread. Why? I hear you ask. Is there any point in toiling in the kitchen to make something which is perfectly good out of a tin? Well the only (and rather inadequate) answer I can come up with is why not? The ingredients are very cheap, I know what  has gone in them when I make them myself and who know, they may just be nicer than tinned ones.

Okay, so maybe you don't want to undertake them if you are busy, not really because they are complicated and make you spend much time in the kitchen, they really aren't, but they do involve soaking the beans 24 hours before and then cooking them before you even start the recipe. Not hard, but you can't be spontaneous and 'want them now'.

Anyway, what were the results?


Well they certainly look like baked beans but they were incredibly tasty. Now I have nothing at all against tinned baked beans, a great staple and wonderful to have in, but having tasted my own, these ones definitely do have a more 'natural' taste to them and I can taste what went in them, which is always a nice feeling (which was really the beans, water, tomato puree, cloves, dark brown sugar, garlic onion, mustard and smoked bacon, salt and pepper)

So in conclusion, if I can be bothered I will definitely make them again, they taste great, it makes loads (I reckon the equivalent of 5 tins), they freeze well (apparently) and can be done in the slow cooker so are cheap to cook (as it happens I did them in the oven today through pure impatience because I wanted them for lunch. There again, if I can't be bothered, I have tins of them in the cupboard :-)

19 comments:

  1. I guess everyone makes Boston baked beans at some stage. It is such a great budget stretcher. I think each person needs to tweak a recipe so they end up with the style and flavour that suits them exactly. So many differences and such large quantities! If you serve the beans in a bowl with cheesy toast on the side and a big glass of lager, then you have a gourmet experience.

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  2. It's funny, but your post made me wonder what it is about "Boston Baked Beans" that makes them from Boston! I wonder... seems there are a million recipes for baked beans & that is one kind. I ought to know... being from over here, ie US, but... I don't! But I might just have to look into that! :-) Glad to know your baked beans were yummy!

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    1. Apparently it is to do with molasses (which wasn't actually in my recipe) because molasses has always been connected with Boston because of the rum trade with the Caribbean.

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  3. They both look great. What bean recipe did you use and what did you use in your sour dough starter. I have been meaning to get around to it for ages but still haven't!

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    1. I used the recipe (tweaked) from Nigella's Christmas book. The sourdough starter is from the bbc good food website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/sourdough_starter_22976

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  4. That bread looks great! I was given some starter earlier this week and have been feeding it and talking to it to encourage it along (well not really but figuratively speaking) and it is beginning to froth today so I will soon be able to make my first attempt at sourdough. I hope it turns out as well as yours. Do give us the recipe for the baked beans as I'd love to give them a try too.

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    1. This is the recipe I used for the beans:
      http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/boston-baked-beans-402

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  5. That's impressive given that you are away a lot. Do you have a sourdough 'sitter'? I know people who treat their south dough like a child and have it babysat when they are on holiday!

    10 November 2013 01:46

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    1. Actually I have never had a problem with the sourdough, as soon as I make bread I put it in the fridge, the day before I am ready to make another I get it out in the morning, and a few hours later feed it with 150g flour and 150ml water. It seems quite happy with the arrangement.

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  6. You should try (in summer, natch) baking your beans and bread in a solar oven LOL

    There's NOTHING to beat that taste as the goodness doesn't escape in the steam ;) and knowing that it has cost you no £, s or p's in elecyricity / gas somehow adds to the flavour too LOL

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    1. Haha, with northern UK summers, it could be a long wait for a sunny enough day.

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  7. It all looks delicious. I have wanted to make sourdough bread since I read Michael Pollan "Cooked". The picture of your loaf inspire me to try it.

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  8. ld love to have some of the bread right now. I have never had any success with sour dough, can't seem to get the starter going just right.

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  9. Yummy! Any chance of sharing the Recipe?

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    1. I've put a link to the recipe on one of the replies above, but there are loads about.

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  10. Did you use the ribs when you made the beans?

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    1. Well it was belly pork, but yes, I ate the small chunks that I came across.

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