Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Home baked bread

Nathan working the dough

Nathan has dabbled in the world of bread making, and not without some yummy success. Earlier this year driving up the coast we came upon one of those really cute, small coastal bookshops that had really select books, one of them being 'Dough, simple contemporary bread' by Richard Bertinet, a Frenchman, which included a DVD of him making bread. I originally wanted to make the bread, but after seeing just how much kneading was needed, I admitt I was quite happy to let Nath do it. The first bread he made was a classic white loaf, which he fashioned into baguettes and a fougasse. We ate it all straight out of the oven, with butter, in what I should confess was a bit of a overdose, but it was soso good. The really good thing about this bread was that it only contained 4 ingredients - flour, yeast, water and a pinch of salt. No preservatives, no improvers, just real bread. ANd being hot out of the oven helped too.

Last week Nathan decided to try an olive oil bread. The basic recipe was 500g strong flour, 20 g course semolina, 15g yeast, 10g salt, 50g extravirgin olive oil and 320g water. The bread flour, semolina and yeast were rubbed together to make a crumble. The salt, olive oil and water were added. The dough was 'worked' until it came together from the bench without leaving any part of it behind. The dough is then rested for an hour until it is roughly doubled in volume. the dough is then fashioned into whatever shape is desired, and then left to prove for 30 minutes before baking.

The unrested dough

The rested dugh doubled in size

Nathan then did two things with the dough. He made olive and parmasen sticks with half the batch, and olive baguettes with the other half. We ate them with a pea and asaparagus soup (will blog the recipe to this later...) and was just perfect.

The final product. I want some more now!

I wont lie to you. Making bread in this way is time consuming and it isnt something we can do every day at the moment. It is however such a natural, healthy way to eat bread, I have really found myself not enjoying commercially bought bread (especially presliced) recently, and hope that one day when we gat more time we can start making this an everyday thing. Till that day, once in a blue moon will have to do!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Make a big batch. Part bake it and then freeze it. You can then finish baking your loaves from frozen and enjoy it whenever you don't have the time to bake from scratch.
Jo Bertinet
The Bertinet Kitchen, Bath, UK