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, 13 October 2010

Evening course - 3rd week

All of my students, 7 of them including a new student, are on email, so I thought I'd take advantage of that to give them advance warning of my planning for tonight:

Tonight we're making 5 breads, ciabatta, focaccia, grissini, pizza and Peshwari naan.

After introductions, and a welcome to Claire, we'll get straight into making the ciabatta.

This is a bread mixed entirely in a bowl and not kneaded at all. Since I want to be precise about the amounts we use, the ingredients need to be weighed:
200g strong flour (either all white or a mixture of white and wholemeal)
1/4 tsp salt
150ml lukewarm water (that’s 125ml + 25%, roughly)
1 tsp yeast
3 tbs olive oil (45g)
All this is mixed together and beaten for a couple of minutes, then left to rise in the bowl.
The 2nd dough (this will make a focaccia, some grissini and a pizza):
500g strong flour (either all white or a mixture of white and wholemeal)
1 /2 tsp salt
50g sun-dried tomatoes (minus 4 which will go on the top of the focaccia), chopped
325ml lukewarm water
1 dsp yeast
2 tbs olive oil
This will make a moderately sticky dough, which, once mixed, we’ll knead for 15-20 seconds then put to one side.
Peshwari naan – the 3rd dough.
200g self-raising flour (or use plain flour with 2 tsps of baking powder mixed in)
1 or 2 tsps curry powder
1 dsp sugar
50g grated creamed coconut
100g dried apricots, quartered (or sultanas if you wish)
Medium onion, finely chopped
125ml of water (cold is fine)
Have an oven tray and baking parchment ready, assemble the dry ingredients, and then add the water. Working fairly quickly, mix into a dough, shape it into a cob and roll it into a circle about 30cm across.
Place it on the baking sheet and put it straight into the oven – for about 10-15 minutes at 220C.
Knead the 2nd dough – put to one side.
Scrape the risen ciabatta dough onto some baking parchment and gently pat into your required shape. Put to prove on top of one of the ovens.
Take about 200g of the remaining dough and roll it out into a circle about 20cm across. Put it on some baking parchment and put it to one side.
Take off another 50g of dough, divide it into three pieces and roll them out into long breadsticks (grissini). Place them next to the pizza dough.
Form the rest of the dough into a cob shape and roll it out to about 2cm thick. Place on a baking tray and dimple the bread with your fingers. Leave to prove on top of the ovens.
Add the topping – tomato and cheese – to the pizza.

Cheers, Paul 

[Reflections on the session: I departed from the planning in leaving the ciabatta until last - and I'm not sure they had sufficient time to rise before they had to go into the oven. Apart from that, all the bread was pretty impressive - and, once again, I forgot to take pictures! However, some of the students did, and I've included them in the portfolio of the course.]

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