Archive for May, 2017

Cars & Baking

Posted on: May 18th, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

Keen followers of my Instagram will know that I am a huge fan of all things car related. So I was so excited when the BBC has asked me to make a show all about cars. Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Road Trip sees me heading off to Europe  to find out all about several country’s character’s and how they are reflected in their attitude to cars and driving. I will be visiting Italy, Germany & France and driving lots of incredible cars, including a £2 million Huayra car in Italy, a classic 2CV in France and a VW Kombi Camper Van in Germany. The show starts on May 28th on BBC2. Keep an eye on my new Twitter account @hollywooddrives for more details.

For those you who aren’t as interested in cars as me, don’t worry I will be back doing what I do best – baking – later this year.  A Baker’s Life is a four part series for Channel 4. The show will see me visiting different kitchens and chefs who have guided me over the years. You will get an insight into my personal baking history, as well as feature some fantastic new recipes. The show will be on screens towards the end of the year, as soon as I know more details I will let you know.

And of course before then there’s the new series of The Great British Bake Off. More about that soon!

Happy Baking!

Baguettes

Posted on: May 10th, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Lightly oil a 2-3 litre square plastic container. (It’s important to use a square tub as it helps shape the dough.)

2. Put the flour, salt and yeast into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (don’t put the salt directly on top of the yeast). Add three-quarters of the water and begin mixing on a slow speed. As the dough starts to come together, slowly add the remaining water, then continue to mix on a medium speed for 5-7 minutes, until you have a glossy, elastic dough.

3. Tip the dough into the prepared tub. Cover with a tea towel and leave until at least doubled in size – about 1 hour.

4. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper.

5. Coat the work surface with a little olive oil, then carefully tip the dough onto it. Rather than knocking it back, handle it gently so you can keep as much air in the dough as possible. This helps to create the irregular, airy texture of a really good baguette. The dough will be wet to the touch but still lively.

6. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong by flattening the dough out slightly and folding the sides into the middle. Then roll each up into a sausage – the top should be smooth with ha join running along the length of the base. Now, beginning in the middle, roll each sausage with your hands. Don’t force it out by pressing heavily.  Concentrate on the backwards and forwards movement and gently use the weight of your arms to roll out dough to the length of your oven trays.

Place 2 or 3 baguettes on each baking tray. Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for about 1 hour, until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220°C and put a roasting tray in the bottom to heat up.

When your baguettes are risen and light, dust them lightly with flour. Then slash each one 3 times along its length on the diagonal, using a razor blade or a very sharp knife. Fill the roasting tray with hot water to create steam and put the bread into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the baguettes are golden brown and have a slight sheen. Cool on a wire rack.