Thursday, 24 March 2011

Hobbs House Signature Loaf

S for Shepherd
Hobbs House bakery in the Cotswolds are fifth generation bakers. Established in 1920 and famous for their expertise in baking, using traditional methods and gaining award winning accolades along the way. However, more recently you may have heard of them as the bakery that produces and sells the most expensive loaf in Britain at £21.00, including presentation box. Despite the highest ticket price for a loaf of bread, they sell around 100 loaves a week from their shops in the Cotswolds villages, and I'm certain they can't all be going to Kate Moss! 

The Hobbs signature loaf is made of Somerset Spelt flour, Cotswolds spring water, Cornish sea salt and the key ingredient; Hobbs 40 year old sourdough, so our recipe is ever so slightly different.

Our version of the Shepherds Loaf:

You can use these baker percentages to work out how large you want to make the loaf and then every ingredient is indexed against the flour. Flour is always 100%. So if you wanted an 800g loaf then you would need the following measures (appreciate there will be water loss during baking):

Doves Farm White Spelt 100% (500g)
Nottinghamshire Water 56% (280g)
Fine sea salt 2% (10g)
White Spelt Sourdough - cultivated over 4 days 20% (100g)

Our Method:

1) Make up dough day/night before
2) Keep out for 2hours to allow yeast to get active before storing overnight in the fridge.
3) Take out chilled dough and scale into 2kilo round loaves. Our shape was more of a large baton.
4) Leave dough to rest for 20 mins at room temp
5) Mould and place into proving baskets to prove for around 4 hours.
6) Bake for 40-45mins on 200-220.

Proving and baking times are dependent on what size loaf you create and how warm the ambient temperature is. Our 2kilo loaf took 45minutes to bake and produced a beautifully caramelised crust with a chewy, tangy, elasticated crumb - perfect for tearing & sharing!

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