Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

White Cob

Posted on: January 1st, 2018 by Harriet Low 1 Comment

1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and then add the salt and yeast, making sure they are placed on opposite sides of the bowl. Add the butter and ¾ of the water, turning the mixture around using your fingers. Slowly add more water until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough is soft and not soggy it is ready. Move the mixture around the bowl to clean the sides until the mixture forms a rough dough.

2. Cover your work surface with a little oil and then begin to knead the dough. Knead for 5 – 10 minutes, working through the wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin and feels silky. Put the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. When it has risen to at least double in size and the dough is bouncy and shiny it is ready. This should take at least 1 hour, but can be left for 2 or even 3 hours.

3. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.

4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball by knocking it inwards several times until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth. Then flatten the dough into a rough rectangle and then roll it into an oblong. Turn the dough so that the longer edge is running away from you and flatten it slightly. Now roll the two ends in towards the centre, so you end up with a chunky squarish shape. Turn the dough over so that the join is underneath.

5. Next, using both hands you need to shape the dough into a smooth domed cob. With your palms turned upwards, position your hands on each side and slightly under the dough. Using your hands tuck the dough neatly underneath itself. Continue, softly forcing the sides of the dough down and underneath, creating a smooth, taut top and a rough underside. Try not to add too much extra flour during shaping.

6. The dough is now ready for proving. Place it on your baking tray and place this in a clean plastic bag. Leave to prove for about 1 hour, until it has at least doubled in size and the dough springs back if you prod it gently with your finger. Whilst the dough is proving turn your oven to 230°C and put a roasting tray in the bottom to heat up.

7. Once ready dust your dough with some flour and then slash deeply with a knife. Add hot water to the hot roasting tray, this will create steam in your oven giving your bread a lighter crust. Put your bread into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until it is cooked and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave your cob to cool on a wire rack.

Stilton & Walnut Soda Bread

Posted on: November 21st, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

1.Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

2. Put the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and mix well. Add the walnuts and stilton and stir gently. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in half the buttermilk. Using the fingers of one hand (or a rounded-blade knife and then your fingers), draw the flour into the buttermilk. Continue to add the buttermilk until all the flour has been incorporated and you have a sticky dough. You may not need all the buttermilk (different brands of flour absorb slightly more or less liquid).

3. Tip the dough onto a floured surface, shape into a ball and then flatten slightly. Place on the prepared baking tray. Use a large sharp knife to mark the loaf into quarters, cutting deeply into the dough but not quite through the base. Dust the top of the loaf with flour.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. You can carefully cut along one of the seams to see if the inside is cooked through; if not, put the loaf back in the oven for 5 minutes or so.

5. Transfer the soda bread to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. It is best eaten on the day it is made, or at least finished within a day or two. It also freezes well.

 

 

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.

Teacakes

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt, sugar and cinnamon to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter and three-quarters of the water, and turn the mixture round with your fingers. Continue to add the water, a little at a time, until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the water, or you may need to add a little more – you want dough that is soft, but not soggy. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.

2. Coat the work surface with a little vegetable oil, then tip the dough onto it and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

3. When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – at least 1 hour, but it’s fine to leave it for 2 or even 3 hours.

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

5. Tip the sultanas and mixed peel on top of the risen dough in the bowl and start working them into it. After a minute or two, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the fruit is thoroughly mixed in.

6. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each into a ball, then use a rolling pin to flatten each out to a round bun, about 1cm thick. Brush the teacakes with the beaten egg. Transfer to the prepared baking trays, spacing them apart.

Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rise for about an hour until the teacakes are at least doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200°C.

Bake the teacakes for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Ciabatta

Posted on: April 17th, 2017 by Harriet Low 2 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 the olive oil and 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 mix for a further 5-8 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and stretchy.

3. Tip the dough into the prepared tub, cover with a tea towel and leave until at least doubled, even trebled in size – 1-2 hours or longer.

4. Heat your oven to 220°C and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment or silicone paper.

5. Dust your work surface heavily with flour – add some semolina too, if you have some. Carefully tip out the dough (it will be very wet) onto the work surface, trying to retain a rough square shape. Rather than knocking it back, handle it gently so you can keep as much air in the dough as possible. Coat the top of the dough with more flour and/or semolina. Cut the dough in half lengthways and divide each half lengthways into 2 strips. You should now have 4 pieces of dough. Stretch each piece of dough lengthways a little and place on prepared baking trays.

6. Leave the ciabatta dough to rest for a further 10 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Cool on a wire rack.

Hot Cross Buns

Posted on: March 21st, 2017 by Harriet Low No Comments

1. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, eggs, milk and half the water and turn the mixture round with your fingers. Continue to add the water, a little at a time, until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the water, or you may need to add a little more – you want dough that is soft, but not soggy. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.

2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

3. When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – at least 1 hour, but it’s fine to leave it for 2 or even 3 hours.

4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and scatter the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon on top. Knead in until evenly incorporated. Cover and leave to rise for a further hour.

5. Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. Divide into 12 peices and roll into balls. Place, fairly close together, on 1 or 2 baking trays lined with baking parchment or silicone paper.

6. Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rest for 1 hour, or 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.

7. For the crosses, mix the flour and water to a paste. Using a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle, pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Warm the apricot jam with a splash of water, sieve and brush over the tops of the warm buns to glaze. Cool on a wire rack.