This edition of Bookmarks is a little different…
…it’s a hybrid – both book review and cookery post.
Longtime followers of this blog will know that Adelle is partial to a bit of bread baking and she squealed with delight when this book, How to Make Bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, came through the letterbox!
The recipes are divided up into basic & other yeasted breads; wheat-free or gluten-free breads; sourdoughs and pastries & sweet treats.
There are also really useful chapters on the basics of breadmaking and a list of suppliers & stockists of all the wonderful flours, grains and breadmaking paraphernalia.
Beautifully staged photographs by Steve Painter and to die for props – Justin’s been emulating them with his breadboards, wooden spoons, herbs and dustings of flour!
The book is fantastic for a real bread beginner. It has clear, step by step images. It has inspired the resurrection of the starter that was killed in the pantry by the central heating when it was turned on last winter (that sounds like a game of Cluedo!)
After an age pouring over all the different bread and pastry recipes, she chose the beer bread as her first attempt.
Here’s the recipe…
Makes 4 rolls (Adelle made 1 large loaf from the same quantity dough)
Added notes: long proofing/dough rising basket (900g/2lbs capacity), greased baking sheet lined with parchment paper,
(warning, you’ll also need a collection of different sized mixing bowls!).
- 400 g/3¼ cups malthouse flour (or 2 cups unbleached bread flour, ¾ cup multigrain blend and ½ malted wheat flakes)
- 10 g/1 teaspoon salt
- 200 g/1 ⅔ cups malthouse or unbleached strong/bread flour
- 2g fresh yeast or 1g/¾ teaspoon dried/active dry yeast
- 200g/200ml/6oz organic ale or other beer (Adelle used Marston’s Oyster Stout)
- 4g fresh yeast or 2g/¼ teaspoon dried/active dry yeast
- 200g/200ml/6oz organic ale or other beer
- rolled oats, for coating
…and here’s the method…
- Into one (medium) mixing bowl, sift the 400 g/3¼ cups malthouse flour (or equivalent) and empty the sifted larger grains into a shallow dish. Set aside.
- Mix the salt with the sifted flour and set aside. This is the dry mixture
- Into another (smaller) mixing bowl, sift the 200 g/1 ⅔ cups malthouse flour (or equivalent) and empty the sifted larger grains into the dish with the rest of the reserved grains.
- Into another (larger) mixing bowl, weigh out the 2g fresh yeast (or equivalent). Add the 200g/200ml/6oz ale and stir until the yeast has dissolved. This is the wet mixture. (Leave the second batch of ale in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator.)
- Mix the 200 g/1 ⅔ cups sifted flour into the wet mixture until it comes together.
- Cover and let ferment overnight in a cool place.
- The next day, in a (smaller) mixing bowl, weigh out the 4g fresh yeast (or equivalent). Add the remaining 200g/200ml/6oz ale and stir until the yeast has dissolved. (Don’t worry if the ale has gone flat.) Pour into the fermented ale mixture and mix.
- Now add the reserved dry mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together.
- Cover with the bowl that had the dry mixture in it and let stand for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes knead as follows: [in the bowl, pull a portion of the dough up from the side ans press it in the middle. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat this process with another portion of the dough. Repeat another 8 times. The whole process should only take about 10 seconds and the dough should start to resist.] Cover the bowl again and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Repeat this step three times, but the last rising should be for 1 hour.
- When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Transfer the ball of dough to the floured work surface.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal portions using a metal dough scraper or sharp serrated knife.
- Take each portion of dough and roll between your hands until you get a perfectly round, smooth ball.
- Add as many oats as you like to the reserved dish of malted grains and mix.
- Roll the top of each ball of dough in the grain mixture. Place, grain side down, into a prepared proofing basket/banneton.
- Let the dough rise until slightly less than double the size – 30-45 minutes.
- About 20 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9 and put a baking stone in to heat up. Place a roasting pan at the bottom of the oven to preheat. Fill a cup with water.
- Tip the basket upside down onto the bread peel and lift it away from the risen dough. Slide the bread onto the hot baking stone, pour the reserved cupful of water onto the hot roasting pan and lower the temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- To check if it is baked through, tip it upside down and tap the bottom – it should sound hollow.
- If it’s not ready, return to the oven for a few minutes. Set it on a wire rack to cool.
…and here’s Adelle’s finished loaf…
You can get your copy of How to Make Bread from the Cico website. And as usual, it’s also available from Hive, Amazon and Abe Books.
[Many thanks to Sarah at Ryland Peters & Small and Cico Books]