No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sardinian carta da musica

Ingredients:
140g strong white flour
60g yellow semolina
1/2 tsp salt
125ml lukewarm water
1 teaspoon fresh yeast or teaspoon of dried active yeast or half a sachet of fast action yeast

Method:
1. Measure the water and stir in the yeast until it’s dissolved. Place the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and add the yeast liquid.

2. Have a little water to hand to add if necessary, remember, it is better for your dough to be wetter (slack) rather than drier (tight). Begin to mix by stirring the ingredients together with a knife, starting with the yeast, cutting through the dough. When it gets too stiff for the knife, use your hand to squeeze the mixture together. As it forms into a solid mass, keep turning it over and pressing it down to pick up the flour at the bottom of the bowl – but make sure it stays soft. Don’t be afraid to add more water to keep it soft! When all the flour has been mixed in, wipe the bowl around with the dough, turn it out onto the worktop and begin to knead.

3. Knead by stretching the dough out, folding it over, stretching it out and so on and so forth. Do this until it is smooth – or until you get fed up!

4. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, using the side of your hand to cut through the dough. This has the effect of forming the dough into rolls as you cut.

5. Roll these out as thinly as possible and leave to prove on some baking parchment until the dough is risen and puffy.

6. Switch the oven on to 240C and bake for about 10 minutes, checking after 5, and turning them if necessary to make sure they are cooked evenly. They should puff up like balloons.

Note:
I've found the best way to bake these is to have a heavy metal tray heated in the oven to act as a bakestone. Have the baking parchment with the dough on top of an upturned baking sheet, then slide the baking parchment onto the hot tray. You'll probably have to bake these in batches.



Ariannina, on the BBC Food board (whose mother is Sardinian), made some suggestions about possible uses for these breads, one of which was Pane Frattau – it was complete surprise, and absolutely gorgeous. One I shall do again very soon.

Thanks, ariannina!

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