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Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

French Rye Bread Mini Loaves

In Baking, Bread on July 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

I made these to accompany a roasted pumpkin and smoked garlic soup. I had intended to serve them as a light dinner for a friend, but ended up consuming them both with my mother instead – along with much delicious cheese and beer! This is a lovely hearty rustic bread that goes down well in winter. As always, I looked to my trusty bread book by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno for the recipe:

Ingredients for the starter:

2 tsp dried yeast

150ml tepid water

125 g white flour

For the dough:

75g white flour

300g rye flour

2 tsp salt

250ml water

 

To make the starter:

Sprinkle the yeast into the water in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Add the flour and mix to form a thick batter. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 2 hours.

To make the dough:

Mix the flours and the salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the starter as well as half the water. Mix in the flour along with the remaining water, as needed, to form a moist, sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Put dough in a clean bowl and leave to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Knock back and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape into long loaves, about 30 cm in length. Place the loaves on a well floured baking sheet and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Lightly dust the loaves with flour. Cut seven or six parallel slashes down the side of the loaves. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove, about 1 and 1/2 hours. The loaves should have doubled in size. Bake in a preheated oven (200 degrees) for 45 minutes until hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

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Ekmek (Flatbread for Fondue)

In Baking, Bread on July 4, 2012 at 8:11 am

I’m afraid I am guilty of committing the crime of hosting a fondue party and not documenting it at all. I was too busy and awkward being a hostess I suppose. However, this was the bread I decided to make and cube for fondue dipping. (Other dippers included roast kumara and potato, cherry tomatoes, gherkins and pickled onions)

 

According to my bread book, this is a Turkish country bread and is the Eastern mediterranean cousin of focaccia.

Ingredients are as follows:

1 tsp runny honey (I used treacle)

325 ml tepid water

2 tsp dried yeast

500g strong white flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for coating

 

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Stir the honey or treacle into 150 ml of the water, then sprinkle in the yeast. Leave for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve. Mix the sifted flour and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted liquid. Use the wooden spoon to draw enough of the flour in to make a soft paste. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to sponge for 20 minutes. Pour in the remaining water, holding back about half. Add the olive oil and mix in the flour from the sides to form a firm, moist dough – using the remaining water as needed. Turning the dough on a lightly floured flour surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a well oiled bowl and leave to rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, well covered. Knock back and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Flatten the dough into a 23 round loaf, place on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes. Once proven, brush with olive oil. Use a blunt edge of a knife to make indentions on the loaf. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Banana Bread

In Baking, Bread, Cake, Snacks on July 4, 2012 at 7:53 am

A little while ago, I managed to resist scoffing my entire bunch of bananas before they became ripe enough to use for baking – and trust me, this is NOT a frequent occurence. I was pretty torn between making banana and cinnamon muffins or banana bread, but in the end the banana bread won. It also fit in quite well with a bunch of leftover ingredients I had lying around, so I figured this was a good opportunity for a bit of improvisation! The great thing about banana bread is that it is so easy to adapt with what you have on hand and you can be pretty sure it will still be delicious.

From memory, here is more or less the recipe I used:

baking spray, to grease loaf tin

250g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (you could substitute with other nuts, such as pecans)

1 egg, beaten

175 ml milk

100 g leftover over cinnamon sugar + 50 g dark cane sugar ( use whatever sugar you want)

60-100 g melted butter

2 very ripe bananas, mashed

Grease the loaf tin with cooking spray, or oil and butter if you prefer. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl. Stir in the chopped walnuts (you could also roast these, perhaps?) and make a well in the centre. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour into the well, stirring to combine  with a spatula. This should produce a wet batter. Overmixing can make the bread heavy, so be gentle. Pour batter in prepared tin. Bake in preheated oven (180 degrees) for about an hour – it should be golden and risen. You can tell it is ready when the bread shrinks away from the sides of the tin. An inserted skewer should come out clean. Leave to stand 10 mins, then turn onto a wire rack to cool before slicing. Serve with olivani…or pumpkin butter!

Dark Chocolate Bread, absentee rarebit and pumpkin butter again

In Baking, Bread on June 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

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

100g cocoa

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.