Well, while I can’t quite deliver on what I promised yesterday (documenting the meal) I did manage to document the bread I made – and got a picture of the pumpkin butter with the bread. The meal was rarebit on dark chocolate bread, however I chickened out of photographing the rarebit. I always feel a bit weird taking photos of my food when entertaining and often chicken out, plus I was starving! But I do think I will try and make rarebit again for myself, so fingers crossed for next time. It might seem like a weird choice – putting rarebit on chocolate bread, but the name ‘chocolate bread’ is a bit misleading. Basically it is just bread with 100g cocoa mixed in with the flour – there is nothing added to sweeten the bread and no real chocolate is involved. The result is a lovely rich, bitter bread which went beautifully with rarebit. The only downside was the shape of the loaf, which yielded small thick slices without much surface area to drown in cheese…or perhaps that was a good thing?
Anyhow, here is the recipe which comes from my tired and trusty ‘Bread’ book by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno.
2 tsp dried yeast
400 ml tepid water
4 tbsp caster sugar (I used dark cane sugar)
400g strong white flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 200-220 degrees. (The receipe says 220, but I find that is too hot in my oven so I baked on 200 – so it’s probably best to make a decision informed by your own oven.)
Sprinkle the yeast into 100 ml of the water. Leave for 5 mins, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in yeasted mixture. Pour in remaining water, holding back about half and mix as needed to form a stiff dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and silky. Put dough in a clean bowl and leave to rise until double in size, about an hour – or a bit longer if the dough is not somewhere warm! Knock back the dough and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Shape dough into a round loaf and place on a lightly floured baking tray (or pizza stone, in my case) and leave to prove until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Dust the loaf with flour or cocoa powder and make a 2 slashes to form a cross with a sharp knife. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack.