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.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

GRISSINI - and grissini nibbles (vegan)

Put a little kink in each one - it'll help if you need to turn them over to cook them evenly
Cut them into four to make nibbles
Add flavoursome  ingredients to these - stock cube, curry powder, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, etc. 
200g  (or 1 mug) strong flour of your choice - I prefer half and half wholemeal and white
1/4 teaspoon salt
125ml (or 1/3 mug) lukewarm water
1 rounded teaspoon fresh yeast
Tablespoon of olive oil (or a good glug!)

1. Place flour and salt into a mixing bowl, measure the water and stir in the fresh yeast. Pour in the yeast liquid and add the olive oil if using. 

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, 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. Leave to prove for about an hour on your worktop, covered with a dry tea towel. Or place in an oiled plastic bag until you are ready for step 5.

5. When you are ready to proceed, divide the dough into 16-20 pieces and roll out into thin sticks as long as your baking sheet will allow. Place them on your prepared baking sheet, keeping them at least the thickness of the sticks apart.

6. Bake at 200C, gas 7, for approximately 10 minutes. Turn them over if necessary to cook the underneath. If you intend to keep these for a few days, they will need to be completely dried out. Leave them in a slow oven, 300F, 150C or gas mark 2, for 30 or so minutes. Check every few minutes to make sure they’re not charring. Once they have completely crisped up, they can be stored in an airtight container.

Straight grissini are difficult to turn over if you want to make sure they’re done underneath – they keep rolling back! To overcome this problem, give your grissini a slight kink in the middle – or make a right angle with the end of the breadstick.

Spicy grissini – add a dsp of curry paste with the olive oil, or some curry powder with the salt.
Or add 4 or 5 chopped sun-dried tomatoes in step one.

(Pic: Portfolio for students.)

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