Join the nation’s baking brigade

South Africans have embraced baking during the lockdown
BAKE ESCAPE: South Africans have embraced baking during the lockdown
Image: 123RF

The aroma of a freshly baked bread is enough to put some people in a good mood.

There’s something about baked goods that just makes people feel loved.

While I was growing up, my mother used to bake pies and sell them, and the aroma from a pie reminds me of her.

No doubt many people share memories such as mine and therefore find comfort in all things baked.

Last Sunday, World Baking Day was celebrated. And possibly for the first time in a long time, people have been really focused on baking.

The national lockdown even resulted in a shortage of yeast.

With many baking challenges circulating on social media, such as for banana bread, it has been a great time for baking enthusiasts.

To all our baking, here’s a story of a baker doing good, some diary hacks and a mouthwatering recipe for guava pavlova.

Baking for good

The Bread Box Bakery team with Matlhogonolo Ledwaba second from left in the front
HELPING HAND: The Bread Box Bakery team with Matlhogonolo Ledwaba second from left in the front
Image: SUPPLIED

Matlhogonolo Ledwaba is the founder of the Bread Box Bakery. The business feeds 100 children in the Midrand region, a task Ledwaba is not handling alone.

She and other business owners in the food industry come together and provide food for the children.

“Other suppliers add meat, vegetables and other food items to my baked items.

“The orphanages come and collect the food, which now feeds more than a 100 children. They are desperate and I cannot let them or my employees down,” Ledwaba said.

She started the Bread Box Bakery in her kitchen in 2017 and, due to the increase in demand, her home stove just couldn’t keep up as freshly baked bread was a hot commodity.

In a bid to do more, she applied for loans with different banks but was unsuccessful.

She then approached VodaLend, an “SMME business funding solution, where applicants can apply online”.

The baker was then able to buy an industrial oven, which allowed her to expand and bake bread for profit and those in need.

Some dairy hacks

Yes, you can freeze milk and some other forms of dairy
Yes, you can freeze milk and some other forms of dairy
Image: 123RF

This is for all the people who use diary products when they’re baking or for people who consume dairy.

The folks over at Rediscover Diary have come up with some hacks to keep your diary as fresh and as long as possible.

Freeze it

Freeze your milk in an airtight container, but make sure to not fill the container to the brim as milk expands when frozen.

You can buy milk in sachets for easy freezing and storage, but shake well after defrosting because milk sometimes separates when frozen.

You can even freeze milk inan  ice-cube tray to use for frozen milk drinks.

Defrost milk in the fridge overnight or in a water bath.

Sour cream, fresh cream and cheese can also be frozen, however fresh cream cannot be whipped after it has been frozen.

Butter can also be frozen and taken out of the fridge and grated to be used in small amounts if needed.

Tips to keep in mind when buying dairy

Check the sell by and use before dates on the labels of the fresh dairy products before you buy.

Buy powdered milk — it has a longer shelf life — and make sure you’re buying 100% cow’s milk —  not coffee creamer.

Fermented dairy products such as buttermilk, maas and  yoghurt naturally have a longer shelf life than fresh milk.

Guava pavlova recipe by Elmarie Berry

Pavlova with cardamom-poached guavas
EASY DOES IT: Pavlova with cardamom-poached guavas
Image: SUPPLIED

For the pavlova:

Ingredients

6 large egg whites, room temperature

1 ½ cups caster sugar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp cornflour

300ml fresh cream

Method

Preheat  oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 20cm disc onto the paper.

Turn  paper over so the drawn disc is underneath. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites in a dry bowl until soft peaks form.

Ensure the bowl is clean as any fat or spot of egg yolk can prevent egg whites from fluffing up.

Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar is completely dissolved.

Add the lemon juice and cornflour and gently fold in to combine.

Spoon the meringue onto the tray. Use a spatula to shape it into a disc, using the circle as a guide. Bake for 1½ hours.

Turn off the oven, leave door closed and allow it to cool completely. This stops the pavlova from cracking.

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fill the pavlova with the cream and top it off with the poached guavas and guava sauce.

For the cardamom-poached guavas:

Ingredients

4 guavas, halved

1 cup Roodeberg rosé wine

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

4 cardamom pods

Pinch of vanilla seeds

Method

Simmer the wine, sugar, cardamom and vanilla in a pot for 10 minutes.

Add the halved guavas and slowly simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.

Spoon them out of the syrup and allow to cool.

For the guava sauce:

Ingredients

3 guavas, peeled and seeded

½ cup water

½ cup Roodeberg Rosé

¼ cup sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Method

Bring all the ingredients to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until guavas are soft. Take pot off the heat and allow it to cool. Blend and drizzle over the pavlova. — SowetanLIVE

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