Do you ever have a house full of ex-'speriments'?

The clutter in our home is creeping out of control..there seem to be 'speriments everywhere I look!

For example, did you know that feathers being a protein 'fibre', dye just as easily as wool? Yes, indeedy, they do! I couldn't resist my curiosity and after a chilly scrounge outside at dusk earlier this week, came back to the house with a handful of white duck feathers from our friends who seem to be having a little bit of a moult at the moment...

Food colouring dyed duck feathers
A quick soak in a weak vinegar/water solution and then colouring added and batches of different colours were heated gently on the stove for 30-40 minutes.

On to baking. Do you use apple sauce in place of butter? I have heard of people doing this...although my recipe also had oil, so it kind of defeated the purpose, didn't it? We have lots of homemade apple sauce in the cupboard that needs a use and muffins sounded good.

Homemade apple sauce

The new muffin recipe also called for honey in place of sugar, which added a lovely sweet twist!

Oat & apple breakfast muffins

Do you have one of these in your house?

sourdough starter...starting
A few more feedings for my new friend before we are good to go, I think...

Putting aside my fears of sticking dough and flopped bread, I christened the new banneton  this week with it's first shaping.

A simple white loaf with a little rye flour, some yoghurt, honey and dry yeast plus a liberal amount of rye flour dusted into the crevices of the banneton released the dough without a hitch.

Oven spring took me by surprise (as did the neighbour ringing to tell me the goats were in their rose garden, to which the oven was turned down and we traipsed along the road in our oldest house clothes bringing them back again..agh! Didn't count on another neighbour pulling out her phone to take a photo though! eek!).

Fortunately, the bread didn't burn and was pretty much done by the time the goats were safely back home again (and tethered until the fence is repaired!). The bread is all gone now though, between dinner and lunchboxes, there was only a slice or two left for this mama's lunch.

Do you have any 'speriments taking over your home at the moment?

Oat & Apple Breakfast Muffins
I've named these breakfast muffins because I think you could get away with 2 (or 1 really big one!) for a quick breaky on the run. They are heavier than our usual muffins making use of whole rolled oats (not the quick cook type) and I think substituting butter and sugar with oil/apple sauce and honey are healthy enough in my book for sustenance on the go. Good for the kids lunchboxes too.

(Makes 12)
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light vegetable/olive oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients together with a whisk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir gently, not overmixing. Add a splash of milk if a little on the dry side. Divide evenly into muffin trays and bake for 20-25 mins @ 180c, until golden on top and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.

First Banneton Bread
600g white bakers flour
50g rye flour
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs yoghurt
1-2 tsp honey, to taste
water, 400ml approx.

Mix ingredients by hand or machine and then knead until smooth and springy. Knead briefly in between short 'rests' (10 mins or so), for a nice result. The 'rests' seem to relax the gluten in between kneadings, meaning not as much elbow straining work is required.

Prove for 1 hour, covered in a warm place. Shape and place into floured banneton or bread pan. Allow to rise again for 30-40 minutes and then bake in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and hollow sounding. Cool before slicing (very important and extremely hard to do!).


  1. Oh YES! They're EVERYWHERE!

  2. No 'speriments here...i am busy trying to clear them away in time for house guests next week. LOL.

  3. Oh those feathers look beautiful.

  4. Delicious! I'll try your muffin recipe next week!

  5. Love the bread! Our experiments are usually in the garden, which is enough for me right now, and will try my hand at fermenting, bread, and others one day!

    Now, let's see if it will let me post this comment as dixiebelle today or not!

  6. I suddenly feel like finding feathers and seeing what colour I can make them. I have a ton of housework to do and a cake to make....but gosh that sounds like fun.

  7. Yaay, look at all those wonderful things! Your first loaf looks magnificent, and I love all the coloured feathers. Well done on the sourdough starter too - I never managed to grow my own, so I'm in awe of anyone who does!

    I have a house full of 'speriments. I'm still trying to figure out where to store all the Chinese lanterns I made earlier in the year - they're too pretty to throw away! (I repeat that line over and over again, for just about everything we make.. ;-))

  8. Uh-huh...we got them! yoghurt, cream cheese, sour dough, knitting...that's just mine. The kids have LEGO creations, card making, scrapbooking and more....love it!

  9. Yes I have several 'speriments on the hop at the moment. Have bunches of herbs in cups of water on the kitchen window sill, trying to get them to strike. A pineapple vinegar brewing on the kitchen bench. A bottle full of orange skins in vinegar to make a batch of orange cleaner (idea from Nellymary). A new pattern on my knitting needles. More 'speriments in my head just waiting to be done.

    Love the feathers, such gorgeous colours.
    Cheers, Deb

  10. speriments here, speriments there...speriments everywhere! Actually for once they mostly mine too. oops.
    Good to see that starter too mama :-) I've got 3 going at the moment. They are taking up precious bench space.

  11. Wonderful, Becky!

    Ooh, wishing you lots of fun times in the week ahead, Hazel.

    It was really surprising how well they took the dye, veggiegobbler. Much fun.

    Excellent, Sharon, they are quite a hearty little morsel. Let me know when you do bake them.

    Yay, it worked, dixiebelle!

    Don't we all have tons of housework to do, Kim...I wish it would just go away! There were a few light coloured chook feathers in amongst the duck ones which dyed beautifully too...such fun - much more enjoyable than housework!

    Thanks, Celia! Love, love love the banneton..did another loaf in it this weekend..could there be a better moment than that 'pop' as it is released? Fingers crossed for the starter..a few dates in a glass of water sped things along a little..
    Gotta have a houseful of 'speriments! Chinese lanterns sound like such fun, too :)

    Ahh, love it, Wendy! I don't mind them leaving their 'stuff' everywhere if they are learning from it and coming back to it..it makes a house a home, don't you think?

    It is all sounding marvelous, Deb! And very interesting too..many good things on the go at your place right now. The orange cleaner sounds fascinating!

    Three? 3!! I take my hat off to you on that one, Brydie! Wonderful!! (Sometimes we just have to take over precious bench space and let the rest of the family work around it..don't we?!).

  12. Yes, a few projects leftover from winter still here. I wonder what you'll do with all of those colourful feathers? Certainly not stuff them into a pillow I hope! My mother has made apple butter for a few years now, but I haven't heard of applesauce as a butter sub- interesting. What a gorgeous loaf of bread!! Is it the pan that gives it those beautiful ridges? Your recipe sounds pretty foolproof, and very tempting.

  13. Hi Kate, the feathers were used in a craft activity at my kids' primary school (fairy tee-pees for the 'fairy garden', so cute!). Thankyou for noticing the bread..the banneton is very exciting - the dough is risen in the basket, the ridges giving the loaf it's shape. The dough is then popped out onto a tray for baking, keeping the ridged shape.

    As for the apple sauce, I think much more experimentation is required to explore it as a sub for butter. How lucky are you to have a mum who makes apple butter? I LOVE this spicy delight!

  14. ah your a sly thing, bringing along feathers without telling me how they got so pretty - I thought they'd just came from the shop! Lovely comments about fairy teepees in this weeks school newsletter.

  15. It was so nice to see the feathers enjoyed in the creating of those adorable fairy teepees! Surprisingly easy to dye, too...


Post a Comment

Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

Popular Posts