Friday, 9 September 2011

The Great British Bake Off - episode three - Bread

I was a bit nervous about making bread as, apart from the debacle of my school girl attempt, I had only ever made Rachel Allen's brown bread which although successful, eventually, didn't have yeast.  Also it's Paul Hollywoods speciality and he's a bit fierce.  He makes me nervous and I'm not even there,  I'm at home, cooking in my own kitchen - how bizarre is that.

Anyway, there were an awful lot of bread recipes featured.  Holly made a picnic loaf which was a brioche dough with chocolate in one end and onion marmalade in the other.  There was walnut, raisin and rosemay loaf, tear and share cheese and onion bread, zupfe loaf with grueyre, lemon and coriander mini loaves, chocolate chilli buns, sage and oinion rolls, peppercorn loaf and so many more.  I wanted to make the egyptian, dukkah loaf with mixed spices as I happened to have some dukkah in the cupboard but it wasn't one of the recipes on the website.  So, I did it again, I made the required element.  I made Paul Hollywoods focaccia recipe.  But then I like focaccia, had all the ingredients and the recipe said it was easy!!!  So............

Step one -  put the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and most of the water into the bowl. 

So far so good.  I then mixed it with my hands to form a dough.  Hmmm - okaaaay?

This is where I started to worry a bit.  Kneading for five minutes while slowly adding the rest of the water.  At this point I realised I had meant to watch the recording before I started cooking which would have been especially helpful because I wasn't at all sure I seen any contestants with their hands in as much mush as this - and this was it kneaded!!

But I carried on regardless now 'stretching' the dough by hand in the bowl for five minutes, resisting the temptation to add more flour because I remembered Mr Hollywood's gleefully derisory comments about  those who had added flour at this stage (and many had). So,  after another five minutes of flourless kneading ended up with this

It was so wet and sticky that I found the next bit of kneading, for yet  a further five minutes, on an oiled work surface quite difficult.  Urvashi did her kneading by picking it up and throwing it down on the board over and over again because 'it worked for her'.  Except it didn't  this time because she was eliminated (sadly along with Ian).

I just pushed it around as best I could (again - no flour), put it back into the bowl, covered it,

put it somewhere warm  and waited for it to double in size

This sort of looks double

Then it had to go on two lined baking sheets.  However it was so wet and sticky it was hard to flatten it out and push out into the corners of the tin so I put it on one tray.  I then realised it was going to rise in the proving so I tried to move half of it to another sheet.  It was glued to the parchent.  I couldn't get it off.  So with  misgivings I left it alone, covered it and left it to prove.  Like this

It was at this point I decided to go back to my recording of the programme to see what the finished article  should look like a la Paul Hollywood

This is his focaccia (and his hand)

A couple of contestants had dough as mushy as mine  but  they all managed to push it into the corners of the trays easily.  On viewing I also realised I hadn't put any dimples in the dough.  Still, trying to keep positive, it might go alright, you never know, I was keeping the faith, I went back after it's hour of proving to find it had indeed grown a great deal.  Time for dimples I thought.

However, when I pulled off the food wrap that had lightly been covering my focaccia, this happened

when I finally detached it from the food wrap my dough sank - a lot.  Now a sensible person might say 'using food wrap to cover it while proving is not a good idea - obviously' but I saw someone on the programme loosely cover theirs with it, although yes, most people did seem  to use a cloth so I would say 'lesson learned'.  Anyway not being one to give up I then tried, without success, to dimple.  Then I shoved it in the oven and went to watch Dr Who.

Twenty minutes later this came out of the oven

Not a very good photo I know but I was missing bits of Dr Who here!  The focaccia  was bigger than I thought it would be, it had a crusty top - which is good apparently and when I cut it later (after Dr Who) it looked like this

which I was not displeased with as it had the uneven holes Paul Hollywood said it should have.  Ok, so it probably shouldn't have been just as uneven all over but it was the holes he went on about so I reckon I did alright-ish.

In fact I was quite chuffed as it also tasted nice.  Not focaccia as I've had it before but it was definitely edible and I wouldn't mind feeding it to other people.  I might have to call it something else though.

I would definitely make it again but I wouldn't put so much salt on top before it's baked.  I would add rosemary or chilli or something.  Also I think the topping was too crispy.  This may have been because I put too much olive oil on it before baking.  I don't actually know yet.  I would remember to dimple before proving as well.

I feel quite excited - I can make two kinds of bread now - English Tea Stall here I come!!!

1 comment:

  1. I think I should make some focaccia! Just need some time to do it though!!!