Thursday, 10 November 2016
Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young and Earl Grey tea loaf recipe
The last GBBO confirmed once again that great bread takes time to produce . The contestants had such limited time that often their breads and pastries were not cooked through and had what they all delighted in calling "soggy bottoms". It was often too hectic and rushed.
Yet time is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to bread making.
Chris Young, the coordinator of the Real Bread Campaign, is encouraging people to bake bread at home.
In the course of his work he has met many talented bakers, and put out an open call for long-rise recipes to form the basis of a book celebrating real bread. Thus Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young and the bakers of the Real Bread Campaign was born.
Slow Dough: Real Bread is a cook book which would appeal to bakers who already have some experience in bread making and mastered the basics.
The book includes chapters on Real Bread Campaign, Terms and Techniques, Troubleshooting, Pre-Ferment, Sourdough, Leftovers etc
According to Chris Young, a long-proved dough has more time to develop flavour and tends to produce a less crumbly loaf.
The book shares the recipes from classic to modern and innovative.
You will learn how to make the sourdough starter and other pre-ferments as well as the fundamental processes of kneading, proving and baking.
Do you remember the famous Fougasse challenge from the last GBBO?! I have never baked one in my life, but if you fancy recreating this flatbread from Provence, there is a recipe for your reference.
There are so many inspiring delicious recipes to choose from: I'm definitely going to try a Saffron cake and Christmas bread.
The recipes cover many different countries and cultures - French (Pain de Campagne), Dutch (Fryske Sukerbole), Italian (Ciabatta), Indian (Naan), Turkish (Simit), Finnish (Lihapurakka) etc.
The photos are quite minimalist, taken on plain backgrounds, so that nothing distracts from the beauty of the bread products.
I also loved the chapter on Leftovers with clever ideas for what to do with crusts, crumbs and chunks.
This book will make an excellent Christmas gift for any foodie.
I have bookmarked several recipes to try. The Earl Grey Tea Loaf has been my first choice as it is made with my favourite tea. How could I resist?!
I have slightly adapted the recipe, by adding a bit of sugar, using the dry yeast rather than fresh and also swapping pumpkin pie mix for Christmas spice mix (I couldn't find fresh and pumpkin pie mix anywhere).
Earl Grey Tea Loaf
125ml Earl Grey tea, freshly brewed (I used 2 teabags for this amount of hot boiling water)
for the dough:
350g white bread flour
1tsp and a half of dry yeast
1tsp fine salt
3tsp caster sugar (optional)
1 medium egg
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
50g softened butter + more for greasing
1 heaped tsp of Christmas spice mix (ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, star anise, black pepper, tangerine oil and cloves)
First brew a small cup of strong Earl Grey tea (either leaves or teabags). Pour the hot tea over the dried raisins and sultanas in a bowl, and let it soak overnight.
Next day, make the dough by mixing the dough ingredients together thoroughly. Knead it for 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic. Don't be tempted to add more water.
Drain the soaked fruit and add to the dough. I found this part a bit tricky, as the wet fruit didn't get incorporated in the dough easily. I had to poke the fruit bits in the dough. Knead until all the fruit is distributed evenly inside the dough.
Cover the dough and leave it to rise for 3 hours at a room temperature.
Give it a single fold after 3 hours, cover again and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Grease a bread tin with butter, place the loaf-shaped dough in the tin and leave it to prove for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 210C. Brush the loaf either with milk or beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes at 210C, then lower the temperature to 190C and continue baking for another 15+ minutes.
Check if it's ready with a wooden skewer, if it comes clean and dry, the loaf is ready.
Once slightly cooled, mix 3tbsp of lemon juice with icing sugar and brush over the warm loaf.
Eating freshly baked bread smothered in good butter is truly one of life's greatest pleasures.
I loved the Earl Grey tea loaf, and will be baking it again.
Disclosure: I received the book for the purposes of reviewing. all opinions are my own.