Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Bread making


My sister bought me the bread making book 'DOUGH' by Richard Bertinet for Christmas about 7-8 years ago. It is a fantastic book with an accompanying DVD with loads of recipes & techniques. It is precisely where my interest in making bread, pizza & building pizza ovens started. 

About 15 miles from our house is Mount Pleasant Windmill in Kirton in Lindsay. Last Saturday we took a trip out there to pick up some bread flour. It is still a working mill & has a little cafe so we stopped for some cake & coffee to enjoy a lovely relaxed Saturday morning. 

On our return Raph & I started to make our dough.. This is a basic French white dough & is great for making baguettes & rolls. It is best to use scales set to grams:

500g strong white flour
375g water
10-15g salt
10-15g yeast (fresh is good but packets are fine)

Put the flour in a large bowl, then stir the salt in as you want this premixed with the flour before adding the yeast, otherwise they glupe together & it won't rise. Then add your water. I mix it together using any old credit card of some kind. This is a great method as it keeps your hands clean. Once it's mixed roughly together but still wet, tip it onto a dry, unfloured work surface. This is when the method starts & differs from english method. Instead of adding lots of unnecessary flour, proving, then knocking it back, the key is to get as much air into it as possible. The technique is to place your hands under the dough with palms up, lift it up & slam it down on the work surface trapping lots of air in the process. The photos will hopefully help with this. The dough will take 5-10 mins of trapping air & it will become much dryer & will start to feel maleable & alive. Then place back in the bowl with a spinkle of flour in the bottom & on top. Cover & leave to double in size. 

Then you have a choice what to make. We made 2 demi-baguettes, a fougasse, an epis & some bread (roll) shots with olives, red pesto & cheese. 

Take a good piece of floured dough, push your card through it in a few places & stretch it out. leave to prove for at least 10 mins then bake in hot oven for about 10 mins or until done.
Take a piece of dough in rectangle shape. Fold half into the middle, then other half into the middle, then fold it over itself making points at the edges by rolling you hand over them.
Is a baguette left to prove, then with scissors, snip into it (not through it though) all the way along making leaf shapes. 
Bread shots
Measure same size pieces of dough. I used 40g for each. Make rolls by working the dough corners into the middle until it is spherical. Then dab your finger with flour, poke it into the middle of the roll & place a teaspoon of pesto, a cube or cheese or an olive. Or anthing else you can think of. Leave to rise for a little while then bang them in a hot oven. Less is more. Mine were a little overdone!

If you like the idea then have a go. Using local flour is a real novelty  but if you can't get out to Mount Pleasant, Lincolnshire Co-op sell their flour!


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