Saturday, 14 June 2014

I finally worked out how juice fennel

First of all, why did I want to make juice out of fennel? Fennel is tasty to eat, but not one of the popular juicing vegetables. Well, if you'd read Jim Lahey's book, My Bread, you'd see that for some of his bread recipes, he substitutes other liquids for the water. The carrot bread, for example, has you juicing carrots. I tried that, and it was excellent, so I was keen to follow the recipe for Fennel Bread.

The first time I tried, I used a little juicer, which did not like job at all. It hopped all around the benchtop. It was hard work getting a trickle of juice.

But now I have a Bellini - that's the poor cousin to the Thermomix, which is a super-powered blender, among other things. The Bellini can turn most things into atoms in no time flat. Hmm.

So I took my fennel, and chopped it very roughly...

... and let it have a turn in the Bellini.

Mere seconds later, we have this - severely smashed up fennel.

Now, remember, blenders and juicers do a completely different job - one smashes up the fruit and vegies, and the other separates the pulp from the juice. Blenders are in the smashing business. So, we need to separate this pulp and juice.

Squeezing it through a cloth would work, but let's have some fun with kitchen appliances...

... and here's my other great appliance, the Kitchenaid mixer, with straining attachment. It lets you push your pulpy mixture in the top, and it presses it through a sieve, using a cool gadget that looks like a drill. It forces the dry pulp out, so nothing gets clogged, and you can keep separating for ages if you want to do a big batch.

Try not to snigger as the squeezed-dry pulp gets extruded out the nozzle here... the juice is gathering in the silver bowl.

And here's the end result. One large fennel bulb turned into 250ml of juice, and a nice plate of pulp.

I used this juice to make a delightful loaf of fennel bread.

At last, I have worked out how to juice fennel!

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