Happy new year to everyone ! OMG is it really 2011 ?!?
A big thank you to my brother who was particularly generous with Christmas presents this year and for genuinely seeming super made up with my home-made gin soaked damson jam & apple chutney in return:-)... I might add he is currently sunning himself in Thailand, whilst I am currently clearing the kitchen.
I have been putting one of my presents to good use, 'Dough' by Richard Bertinet. Its a lovely book with great bread recipes that are simply collated.
You first make the dough up, white, wholemeal, multi-grain or rye dough and then you can adapt the recipe depending on what flavours you fancy or what shaped loaves you prefer. There is even a CD to show you how.
Today, I made a mix of shapes and flavours using the R.Bertinet method:
1 small white loaf with poppy seeds using a really old hovis tin I found in an antique shop in Sheffield.
1 white plait with poppy seeds
2 x raisin and walnut loaves using a mix of white, wholemeal and rye flour
1 x wholemeal/white flour mix in a tin that got stuck even though I oiled it plenty beforehand...arghhh !
1 x wholemeal loaf with wheatgerm and multi-grain stone ground flour
At the school of artisan, my fellow students and I call Bertinet's process, the 'slap & fold' method of working the dough, its fun and you can see the dough come together after around 5-8 minutes.
Even though the dough begins quite sticky, you musn't use any flour. As you lift the dough through your forked fingers, you throw it over itself so you collect air pockets within the dough which will make it light and airy. The dough soon becomes smoother and silky looking as it comes together.
The loaves are currently cooling but I plan to package them up and drop them off to a few friends with my best wishes for the year ahead.