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.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

BREAD BOWLS - from trenchers to naan breads

Or: From trenchers, through bread bowls, and pizzas (with a nod to the focaccia) to naans…

I call my blog “No bread is an island”, since I maintain that every bread is linked to at least one other.

The rolls I’ve just made (and turned into bread bowls) exemplify that.

Here’s the recipe for the bread: 
100g each strong white flour and strong wholemeal flour
1 vegetarian stock cube
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1 dessertspoon pesto (Meridian)
1 dessertspoon Fern’s Vindaloo curry paste
1 dessertspoon fresh yeast stirred into 140g lukewarm water
25g of sun dried tomato oil

This made a very sticky dough, but I kneaded it for about 20 seconds, scraped the dough off my hands and rubbed them with flour, letting the floury bits fall on to the dough. Then I covered it with the mixing bowl and left it for about 20 minutes whilst I tended to my chiminea.

I gave the dough another couple of quick kneading actions over the next half hour – each time the dough was less sticky – and then shaped it.

I divided it in 2 and shaped each piece into a large roll. These I placed in a stainless steel roasting dish with baking parchment above and below, then a baking tray over the top, so that the rolls, as they rose, would flatten out.

When they’d risen sufficiently (which didn’t take long since I’d used loads of yeast), I baked these in my chiminea. After 10 minutes the bottoms were well done (I wanted the bottoms to be really well cooked). Then I removed the baking tray and turned the rolls over, giving them about 8 minutes this time.

Nice and flat on top
I then carefully cut around the top of one, hacked out most of the crumb and, for my dinner, had this filled with leftover bolognaise sauce (to which I’d added red kidney beans, chunks of seitan and curry sauce) and had this with oven chips. (I did the oven chips in my cast iron frying pan in the chiminea. I was pretty pleased about that.)


I tried to leave a 1cm thick edge all the way round
This was well worth doing. The bread was so tasty, that for supper last night I hacked out the top of the second roll, removed the crumb and ate it on its own. (I can’t recall ever doing that before!) The second bowl I had for lunch today - again filled with curry.

I want to try these again with a more liquid filling. Not really a soup fan, but I'll happily experiment in the interests of science!

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