Tag Archives: bread

Seeded loaf (Preparation time: +4hrs)

Making bread maybe a slow process but once it is baked and you cut the first slice it is incredibly satisfying.  I have recently taken to making the dough up just before I go to bed and placing it in the fridge to rise very slowly overnight.  When I get up in the morning I take it out of the fridge and let it warm up for about an hour before knocking it back and shaping it for its second rise, which means I have fresh bread in time for a late breakfast

Aside from making sure that your bread has sufficient time to rise one of the most important things when you make the bread is how you shape it before placing it in the tin.  I will freely admit that there have been many occasions where I have rushed the shaping and ended up with a hollow loaf.  My tip it make sure that you knead the dough properly before the second rise and make sure that it malleable and supple enough to easily shape then slowly and carefully work the dough into the shape that you need for your tins.

If you haven’t made bread before do give it a try! It is a very straightforward process and kneading the dough can be hugely therapeutic especially if you have had a tough week.  If that isn’t enough incentive then just think about the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your house and being able to eat the loaf when it is still warm from the oven – heaven!!

dsc_0698-2 Continue reading

Chelsea buns with a marmalade glaze

My Chelsea bun recipe requires you to make an enriched dough (meaning that it has milk, sugar, butter and/or oil in the recipe).  The process is identical to making a standard dough, however the dough is wetter.  I have a plastic dough scraper/cutter that I use to help me stop the dough from sticking to the work-surface – it is a handy little tool but not absolutely necessary.

Do not be put off by the number of steps there are in this recipe, making Chelsea buns is very straightforward and is very worthwhile.  The buns are light and fluffy and have a lovely sharp zing from the marmalade.  By soaking the sultanas in boiling water they become much juicier and they stay plump even after cooking.


DSC_0642

Chelsea buns with a marmalade glaze

Ingredients:

For the dough:DSC_0629

  • 250g wholemeal flour (Type 80)
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50g butter (melted)
  • 200ml milk (warmed)
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 50g sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 eggs

For the filling:DSC_0631

  • 25g butter (melted)
  • 75g sultanas (put in boiling water to plump up, then drain)
  • 25g mixed peel
  • 2-3tbsp brown sugar

For the glaze:

  • 1 heaped tbsp marmalade
  • 1 heaped tbsp caster sugarDSC_0632
  • 1tbsp water

For the icing:

  • 2-3 heaped tbsp icing sugar
  • 1-2 tsp water

Steps:

  1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and mix together.
  2. Place the yeast in a bowl, add the milk, butter and eggs and mix together well.
  3. Add the wet mix into the dry mix and combine using your fingers.  The dough will be fairly wet.
  4. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
  5. Place the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 2 – 2½ hours (until it has doubled in size).
  6. Knock the air out of the dough, place on a floured surface and flatten into a square shape.
  7. Brush the dough with the melted butter, scatter over the sugar, mixed peel and sultanas.
  8. Roll the dough up into a long cylinder shape then, cut into 12 equal-sized pieces.
  9. Place the pieces in a greased and floured tin, then leave to rise until they have doubled in size.
  10. Once they have risen, bake in an oven at 180C fan for 15-16 minutes, turning the oven down to 160C fan after 8-9 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and place the buns on a cooling rack.
  12. Make the marmalade glaze by heating the marmalade, sugar and water together in a saucepan
    and heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a syrupy liquid.
  13. Brush the glaze over the buns, making sure the tops are well covered.
  14. Finally make the icing by mixing the icing sugar together with a little water until you have a smooth but slightly runny icing.
  15. Drizzle/brush the icing over the tops of the buns.

 
DSC_0640

White bread baps – perfect for a lunch, brunch or BBQ

We don’t often eat brunch at home but when we do it normally involves an English breakfast.  However, today as we lacked some of the vital ingredients for this so we had to settle for bacon baps (buns).  Consequently, I decided to make the baps this morning as there is something quite special about having freshly cooked bread for any meal.

At the moment I am making bread in some form or other at least twice a week – every time I make it the process gets easier and easier and I find it incredibly relaxing. These baps are very soft both inside and out and would make great sandwiches to use in packed lunches or for picnics or for burgers at barbecues.

Fresh yeast and dried yeast

It has dawned on me recently that I am in an incredibly fortunate position to be able to get fresh yeast from my local bakery here in France.  However, I do appreciate that not everybody has this luxury so, if you only have dried yeast available, then work on the following principal:

  • Where a recipe uses 25g fresh yeast, use 7g dried yeast in its place.  (The reason that you need less of the dried yeast is due to the moisture content in fresh yeast.)

 

 

White Bread Baps

Ingredients:

  • 400g white flour (type 55 or equivalent)
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 25g melted butter
  • 200ml milk (tepid)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Steps:

1.  Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and mix together.

2.  Place the yeast and sugar in a measuring jug and stir together until the fresh yeast is crumb like.

3.  Add the milk and butter to the measuring jug and stir.

4.  Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and combine using your fingers.

5.  Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for a good 10 minutes (you will notice that the texture of the dough will change during this time, once you have finished kneading the dough should spring back after being pressed lightly).

6.  Place the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 1 ½ – 2 hours (until it has doubled in size).

7.  Knock the air out of the dough.  Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a long sausage shape then cut into 12 equal sized pieces.  Shape the pieces into small balls and placing it in an oiled and floured tin leaving it to rise for the second time for another 1 ½ – 2 hours.

   

8.  Place the dough in an oven that you have preheated to 190C fan and cook for 18-20 minutes.  Turn the oven down slightly if you feel it is cooking too quickly and browning too much on the top.

9.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool before eating, the baps are best stored in an airtight tin.

   

Fruit and Cider Buns

As a result of making ‘rabbit in an apple, mustard and cider sauce’ the other day, I found myself with ½ a bottle of cider left over.  Normally I would just drink it, but as I had some fresh yeast in the fridge that I also needed to use up, I decided to try and make some buns with them.  I had heard of beer bread before, so I guessed that there should be no reason why cider wouldn’t work.

As I wanted the buns to be sweet, I added both fresh and dried fruit to the dough after the first rising.  I’ve never put fresh fruit into bread dough before, but on the basis that you can add weird and wonderful things to focaccia I thought I would give it a go.

I took two of the buns up to ‘the mountain’ (a local village with a wood fired bread oven) for them to try this morning.  I have had many discussions with the bread makers up there about the difference between English and French breads and this morning I was able to give them an example of a bun that was very similar in consistency to that of a Hot Cross Bun.  The buns were divided up and given out.  There were some wary looks at this foreign bread, followed by much sniffing before the eventual consumption.  To my relief they all seemed to enjoy it remarking that it was similar in texture to that of a brioche and demanding to know what spices were in it.

Enthused by their reaction, I decided to ask if I could cook in their oven next weekend after they have made their own bread.  The answer was positive, however there was one condition – I have to help them prepare their loaves next Sunday, which means a 5.00 am start.  Whilst I am not looking forward to getting up before the cock crows, I am looking forward to trying a traditional French bread oven and seeing how they make their pain de campagne which we tend to buy every Sunday.

 

Fruit and Cider Buns

Ingredients:

  • 400g white flour (type 55 or equivalent)
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 25g melted butter
  • 225 – 275 ml medium dry cider
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 50g sultanas (that have been rehydrated in a little boiling water – then dried)
  • 2 medium apples (peeled, cored and cut into small chunks)
  • sugar glaze (3tbsp sugar dissolved in 2tbsp water)

Steps:

1.  Place the flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix together.

2.  Place the yeast and sugar in a measuring jug and stir together until the fresh yeast is crumb like.

3.  Add the cider to the measuring jug and stir.

4.  Pour the melted butter and the wet mix into the dry mix and combine using your fingers adding a little more cider at this point if it is needed.

5.  Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for a good 10 minutes (you will notice that the texture of the dough will change during this time, once you have finished kneading the dough should spring back after being pressed lightly).

6.  Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 1 ½ – 2 hours (until it has doubled in size).

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  Knock the air out of the dough and add the sultanas and apple pieces.

8.  Knead the dough until the fruit is evenly distributed. Then cut the dough into 12 equal sized pieces.  Shape the pieces into small balls and placing it in an oiled and floured tin leaving it to rise for the second time for another 1 ½ – 2 hours.

9.  Place the dough in an oven that you have preheated to 190C fan and cook for 18-20 minutes. Turn the oven down slightly if you feel it is cooking too quickly and browning too much on the top.

10.  Whilst the dough is cooking make a sugar glaze by placing 3tbsp of sugar in a saucepan with 2tbsp of water and heat until the sugar has dissolved and has a syrup-like consistency.

11.  Once the buns are cooked remove from the oven, tip out onto a cooling rack.  Using a pastry brush glaze the buns with the sugar glaze and leave to cool.  (Best stored in an airtight tin).