The Beginner’s Guide to Bread Making
In my kitchen we make all types of breads, which we serve in the 2 AA Rosette Lakes Restaurant and sell in Pippin Shop.
I tell you there is nothing better than seeing the look on visitor’s faces when they enter through the hotel’s revolving doors and pick up the overwhelmingly delicious scent of freshly baked bread wafting through our corridors – what a treat!
In my opinion, bread making is one craft that everyone should give a go so I wanted to share with you my beginner’s guide to bread making along with a few little tips and tricks.
This particular one is a base recipe, we also use various starters for sourdoughs and speciality breads.
- 1kg T45 strong white flour
- 60g yeast
- 27g salt
- 66g unsalted butter (soft)
- 425ml warm water (36 degrees)
1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a mixer or by hand if you are feeling adventurous.
2. Cream the yeast in warm water and let it stand for 3–5 minutes.
3. Add the butter to the flour and mix for 5 minutes.
4. Gradually add yeasted water, stopping periodically to allow yourself time to properly stir it in. The final texture should be soft, pliable but not sticky. Tip: Add more warm water or dustings of flour until this is achievable.
5. Turn out the dough onto a floured table, knead well for 5 minutes and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with damp cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
6. Upend the dough on to a floured table and cut in to 4 equal pieces. Knead well, roll out the dough to the required size, and pat into a loaf shape.
7. Put on floured iron trays and leave to prove again. Either egg wash or flour the tops of the loaves according to your preference and bake until golden brown with hollow sounding base.
Tips and tricks to add a bit of pizazz to your bread
Experiement with shapes – To make rolls simply weigh out pieces to about 115 g then knead, shape, prove and bake as above. Or to make brown bread, replace 1kg of white flour with 1kg of brown flour.
Experiement with flavours – Add fresh herbs at the beginning of your mixture or when you start the kneading process. Or try soaking sultanas in port overnight and mix the leftover liquid with the yeast instead of water to bring out a beautiful interior colour to the crumb.
But my personal favourite thing to do when making bread is to knead white chocolate drops and crumbled blue cheese into the dough! The result is a sweet piquant flavour with an irresistible aroma. Delicious!