Monday, 24 January 2011

Walnut Sourdough, Blue Cheese & Stout

Mark Newman has an Artisan bakery in Bristol called Mark's Breads. He was a real inspiration, as similarly to myself he decided to leave the corporate jungle (he was in IT for 15 or so years) and set up something for himself. He shared his bread recipes, tips & tasting notes with us today and we made a selection of Artisan breads including, sundried tomato & chilli, olive & thyme, walnut sourdough, 7-seeded sourdough and spiced fruit buns.

Mark's tasting notes on the best combination of bread, cheese & beer....

  • Multi-seeded - caerphilly cheese - golden ale / fruity & floral
  • Sourdough - Strong cheddar (eg. Montgomery) - Bitter
  • Walnut - Blue Cheese - Stout
  • Rye - Soft goats cheese
  • Spelt - Hard goats cheese - German weissbier /hoegaarden

Mark's top tips for bread making:
1) Soak the seeds in at least their own weight of boiling water to soften. Subtract the boiled water from the total water required.
2) Place a wet tea towel on a tray. Roll your shaped dough on the wet tea towel then on the tray with your seed mix to coat evenly.
3) Keep your slashing knife in water to stop it tearing the dough.
4) Use as little flour as possible. Wet your hands to deal with sticky dough, use oil to lightly coat the tray for resting.  
5) Consider the water and salt content on any additional ingredients you wish to add (eg. soak your olives to remove the salt content)
6) Use Rye levain for the walnut bread as it gives a good flavour & chewy texture.
7) Add salt 2/3rds towards the end of your mixing to encourage dough autolysis, ie. the water and flour are allowed a period of time being mixed together to form gluten and starch strands before the salt is added (salt breaks down the yeast cells). Once the salt is added you can noticeably see the dough stiffen.

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