Thursday, 21 August 2014

Stuffed.......or Stuffed Up? part two...

During the day of the Great British Bake Off Bread Week yesterday, young Danny @foodurchin called for his Twitter and Beamly friends to join him in baking something to scoff during the programme.  I didn't have a huge amount of time, it was a work day after all, but I decided it was a good time to revisit a stuffed bread. Sorry.. what did I say there? .. I DIDN'T HAVE A HUGE AMOUNT OF TIME. We are back to rushing a bread that shouldn't be rushed again. Sigh

I don't learn do I?

Sweet this time I thought. I hadn't watched yet don't forget, so hadn't seen Jordan's debacle with his sweet stuffed bread. Probably just as well. It should have put me off.

I have Nutella (well, Sainsbury's own brand version, which is fine by me) and some hazelnuts.   I don't bother to double check the recipe on line. My dough is fine. I know how to make this. I do. 

No I don't. I stuffed it up.

This is my stuffed-up chocolate bread.

This should look like this... (the link explains how the shaping is done as well. Though the dough is a simpler one than mine)


I rushed it. You can see it. That 2nd picture is a thing of beauty whilst mine is totally ugly.

The dough was too soft. It was sticky and slithery and I made a right pigs ear of it.  I didn't roll it properly, I didn't twist it properly, and I overbaked it too. But let me tell you for nothing, it tastes lovely. And that is what is important isn't it? No, sorry, you won't find style over substance in my kitchen.

Here you are, it is based on my demi-brioche dough cobbled together from various different recipes. This is MY version - yours may vary... for instance,  you may actually bake it nicely :)

Semi brioche dough is semi as it is only half as rich and half as sweet as true brioche dough, so it is much easier to use for something like this. It would work just as well with a savoury filling such as the pesto and cheese one here:

150g bread flour
150g water
1 tsp instant yeast

Mix this together to make a rough dough, and put to one side for 4-5 hours. You can even make it in the evening and leave it at room temperature overnight, in which case, you probably only need half a teaspoon of yeast.

Main dough.

200g strong bread flour
150g OO flour or plain flour if you don't have OO
4 level tablespoons milk powder + 1 tablespoon of buttermilk powder (you can omit this if you don't have it)
2 whole eggs broken into a measuring jug, level made up to 200ml with warm water and mixed together
1 tablespoon Total Classic Greek yoghurt
1.5 tsp salt
75 g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons runny honey

4-6  tablespoons Nutella at soft room temperature
2-3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
I egg mixed with a little water and salt

In a stand mixer* (*I really do recommend a stand mixer for this, you can use a Slap and Fold method of mixing and kneading but it is very messy) put all the ingredients minus the butter and honey, along with the preferment you made earlier. Knead at a low speed for around 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and you can pull it out easily without it tearing.

Start the mixer again and add the honey and the butter in chunks. Allow the butter and honey to fully incorporate and knead for a further 5 minutes.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, fold the dough onto itself to form a plump ball and cover with cling film or a clean shower cap.

Either allow the dough to rise at room temperature for around 2 to 3 hours (until very light and fluffy) or move it to the fridge to prove slowly overnight.  If you prove at room temperature, chill the dough for at least 20 minutes before trying to roll it out (I didn't have time for this, hence the almighty mess...)

After chilling, cut the dough into four equal sections, and form each into a round. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Roll and stretch each section into a round about 20 cm across.  Spread one with Nutella and sprinkle with the hazelnuts Put another round on top.  Repeat until all four rounds are used up, but don't spread any Nutella onto the top round. 

Move to a parchment covered baking tray. Chill if possible for another 10 minutes before cutting and twisting (I can't ever do this as I don't have room in the fridge). (Follow the cutting and twisting instructions in the nice photo above, or here are even better pictures . You will see that I didn't double check the twisting instructions. Or the rolling out instructions either as I only made two rounds. Oh. You will do better I am sure.)

(edit:  I'm being told that the instructions are toooooo complicated! Well, I've found it on You Tube for you..

I hope this will help a bit....)

Brush with egg wash, and leave to prove again for around 45 minutes to an hour at room temperature. Put the oven on at Gas mark 6 or electric equivalent for the last 30 minutes. 

Bake the loaf for around 20 minutes (keep an eye on it, brioche burns easily) and then move to a rack to cool.

Even with one layer it still twists beautifully, and perhaps has thicker brioche layers this way, which suits me as I like the brioche as much as the Nutella. 

The crumb on this is lovely and light.

It reheats well for breakfast by the way. I broke it into pieces, and gave these 10 minutes at Gas mk 3 just to warm the filling.

p.s. If you have some dough left over, you can make simple round buns with it, and toast them for breakfast with butter fried tomatoes. Simple pleasures...

Stuffed....part one

Stuffed bread.... did you watch The Great British Bake Off last night, with their fancy stuffed breads? And almost no time to make them in, which made me so annoyed.   If there is one thing I have learnt from my various bread making experiments it is that even quick bread needs time.

So let's start with the bread I made for the Essex Food and Drink Festival. Yes, the one I was bragging about all over my Facebook and Twitter pages, the one I won with.

I almost didn't enter the competition on Sunday . I got home tired and hot on Saturday, and really couldn't face baking again. But I didn't sleep well (it was a very hot night that night) and I woke at 4.30. Oh well, why not. Let's give it a go.

So I had from just before 5 until 9 when I wanted to leave. 4 hours - exactly the same amount of time as the Bake Off competitors had.  How did I do it? I sacrificed flavour in the bread for flavour in the additions.

I made the bread using tips from Dan Lepard in Short and Sweet. I added 3 TIMES as much yeast as I would usually. I added yoghurt and vinegar to compensate for the loss of depth of flavour due to the shortened proof times caused by the extra yeast. And I baked dark so that the bread wouldn't collapse due to the fast, hot proof.  And I only just got it made and cooled in time. It was still warm when I wrapped it to take to the Festival, and that took a little over three hours for cooking and an hour for cooling.

The bread dough itself had NO flavour in it, but truthfully it didn't matter. The bread was to be a tear and share Cheese loaf for the competition, and so the dough was spread with pesto and grated Jarlsberg and Cheddar cheeses, then rolled up before being cut and twisted. So any loss of flavour in the dough won't really be noticed, as the main flavour is from the additions.

But if I did it again? I would use a poolish. I would chill the dough more to make it easier to handle (let me tell you it was a horrendous job rolling and shaping the still slightly warm frothy dough. Much easier to make this with a slow proof in the fridge ) and I would probably use my new love, my semi-brioche dough.

But if you would like to bake with the kids, three to four hours is probably as much as you could hope to keep them in one place ... (though they can nip outside for a quick game of footie whilst the dough is proving and the loaf is cooking)

so here you are, give it a go and let me know what you think:
500g white bread flour
300g milk (either scald milk to boiling point then let it cool to no more than 32 degrees, or use warm water and milk powder.)
50g melted and cooled unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cider or white wine vinegar
1 heaped tablespoon Total Classic Greek yoghurt
1.5 tsps salt
1 heaped teaspoon dried mixed herbs (I used Italian herb blend)
4 teaspoons instant yeast 

half a jar of pesto
2-3 handfuls of grated cheese - I used Jarlsberg and cheddar but use any cheese you have around.
One egg beaten with a little salt and water.

  • Mix all the ingredients together to make a rough dough. Cover and leave in the bowl for 10 minutes.  
  • Either knead in a stand mixer for around 6 minutes or knead by hand ( in which case I suggest Dan Lepard's short kneads every 10 minutes 3 times in the first half hour of proving rather than a full 10 minute knead, but the choice is yours) 
  • Remove from the bowl and fold the dough onto itself a couple of times to make a smooth ball. Oil the bowl slightly and replace  the dough into the bowl turning it over in the oil so that the smooth side is uppermost. 
  • Cover with cling film or a clean shower cap and allow to bulk proof for around an hour until very light and puffy. 
  • Pop it in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up slightly and relax.  If you have more time, leave it in the fridge for an hour or two, it will make rolling it out a LOT easier.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and turn onto a lightly floured work surface. Put the oven on now (gas mark 7 or electric equivalent)  so it will be very hot by the time the dough proves for the 2nd time. 
  • Shape lightly into a square and roll out into a rectangle about 30 x 40 cm. If the dough fights you when you roll it just let it sit for a moment and rest and then roll out, the resting relaxes the gluten and makes it easier. 
  • Spread with the pesto and about 2 thirds of the cheese. 
  • Roll up from the longer end into a fat sausage and curve round into a ring. Put it onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.  
  • Using a sharp knife, cut slots into the outer sides of the ring, making sure not to cut right through to the middle. Turn each slice over on its side to show the filling. 
  • Brush over with egg wash (break an egg into a cup, add a little water and salt and beat to mix all together). 
  • Leave the ring at room temperature to roughly double in size, about half an hour to 45 minutes.
  • Brush again with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for around 40 -45 minutes until firm and golden brown. Lift the bread slightly from the parchment and have a peek underneath, it should be a good golden brown underneath as well as on top. 
  • Remove from the baking sheet using two fish slices, and cool on a rack.