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.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Using the oven and a cloche to prove your bread

I needed some bread in a hurry for some visitors to take away with them yesterday, so I made a batch of white rolls.

Using the 'undercover method', and the oven (plus a good amount of yeast), to help with the proving, I was able to make them in under an hour - 55 minutes, to be exact.

I made the dough (500g flour, 315g water and 15g of yeast) and shaped it into 8 rolls, huddled together on a heavy steel baking tray. I covered the bread with a stainless steel roasting dish and put it into the oven, switching it on to 220C.

I left the bread in the oven for 6 minutes, by which time the oven had reached 120C. I left the bread out for a further 6-7 minutes, then put it back in the oven.

I gave it ten minutes covered, and a further 10 minutes uncovered (turning the tray round 180 degrees to ensure even baking).

And they were done:

I included 50g of wholemeal since I didn't have enough white in the house. The colour in the pic doesn't show as it should, so they look underdone - but they weren't. 
Later that day, needing some more rolls for the rest of the family, I thought I'd try leaving them in the oven from the start. These took only 45 minutes this time, and, while the rolls rose nowhere near as much as the first batch, they were still edible if that's all the time you have.

Even when I make my normal daily bread I often resort to putting the covered bread into the oven for short blasts of heat. With the cover on, I give them two minutes in the oven, then leave them out while there is still some heat in the tray and cover. Normally I only need to do this a couple of times before they're risen sufficiently to bake.

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