It’s Bread Week!
This week, we watched as the Bake Off contestants battled with bread.
Ian’s certainly our favourite to win after becoming ‘Star Baker’ for the second week running!
After watching this week’s episode, I was inspired to do a bit of experimenting. Luckily, there was no ‘doughverload’ to be seen…
I’ve adapted Paul Hollywood’s White Cob recipe. So without further ado:
500g strong white bread or wholegrain flour
10g instant yeast
30g softened, unsalted butter
320ml cool water
Olive oil for kneading
Added extras: olives, sundried tomatoes, rosemary…
- Tip your flour into a large mixing bowl. I bought some amazing wholegrain flour with nuts and seeds from a local farmer’s market, although the original recipe recommends strong, white bread flour.
- Add the salt and yeast, placing them on opposite sides of the bowl. Add in the butter and ¾ of the water, turning the mixture with your hands. Add more water until all of the flour is incorporated. It should feel soft, NOT soggy. You can also add some extras if you’d like, such as olives or sundried tomatoes.
- Cover your work surface with some oil, and knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes. It should start to form a soft, silky skin.
- Put your dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Once it has risen to twice it’s size, and the dough looks shiny and bouncy, it’s ready. This should take anything from 1 – 3 hours.
- Line your baking tray with baking parchment.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knocking it inwards a few times until it forms a ball-like shape. Flatten into a rectangular shape and roll it. Turn so that the longer edge runs away from you, flattening it slightly. Then roll the two ends in towards the centre – you should end up with a chunky, square shape. Turn this over so that the join sits underneath.
- Use your hands to shape the dough into a smooth, domed cob. Tuck the dough neatly into itself to create a smooth, taut top and rough underside. Remember not to add too much flour for this.
- Place it on your baking tray inside a clean, plastic bag. Leave to prove for at least an hour, until it has doubled in size. The dough should feel springy when you prod it with your finger. Whilst you do this, turn your oven to 230°C and put a roasting tray in the bottom of.
- Dust your dough with some flour and slash deeply with a knife. Add hot water to the warmed roasting tray, to create steam in your oven for a lighter crust. Put your bread into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is cooked. Leave it to cool on a wire rack and enjoy with lashings of butter, homemade soup, or whatever you fancy…
Don’t forget that next week is Dessert Week on the Bake Off. I think our diets will be put on hold for that one.
Love Laura x
21st August 2015
Written by The Very Team