Bread is a staple food, produced from simple ingredients, flour, water and yeast moulded into a dough and usually baked. In recent years there has been an increase in the growth of artisan bakeries who are producing variety of breads using traditional techniques and traditional ingredients.
The formation of movements such as the lottery-funded Real Bread Campaign aims to ‘encourage the consumption and production of real bread in Britain’ has helped real bread become a hot topic in homes across the country.
This year Real Bread Week runs from 9-15 May 2015.
The Real Bread Campaign is part of the food and farming charity Sustain. The main aim of the week is to encourage people to get baking Real Bread or buying it from local, independent bakers.
So the campaign has encouraged me to get back to basics and make some bread. I hope this blog encourages you to do the same.
For this recipe I decided to use two ingredients that have been linked together for centuries ‘beer and bread’. Early bread and beer have exactly the same ingredients – water and cereal. Then yeast is added to both to get the finished desired product.
My recipe is a real ‘blokes’ bread. Malty beer loaf with the smooth, distinctive, rounded taste of Jarlesberg cheese. Lovely.
370g Very Strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
200g Very strong wholemeal bread flour
(I used Allinson flour in both cases)
1x7g sachet of fast action dried yeast
200ml beer ( you could use apple juice if you don’t fancy beer)
120-180ml warm water
150g Jarlesberg cheese (cut into small cubes)
Dust a large tray with flour
In a large bowl, mix the flours, yeast and salt together. Pour in the beer and enough water to make a sticky dough. Stir everything together and knead until smooth and elastic. ( This will take approximately 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes if you use an electric mixer with a dough hook)
Turn dough out onto work surface and knead in the squares of cheese
Return dough to the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour until double in size.
Punch down the dough and shape into a Cob or (rolls,loaf,plait). Place onto floured baking tray.
Cover with cling film or a plastic bag and put to rise for 1 hour until almost double in size.
The baking of this loaf is a method I took from the master of bakers Paul Hollywood. Believe me it is a method worth following as it produces a great finish to your bread.
Heat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6 and place a roasting tray on the bottom shelf to heat up. Once the loaf is risen, spray with water. Dust with a handful of flour and rub all over the loaf. Score 4 diagonal slashes across the top of the loaf, 2-3cm deep.
Just before baking pour 1 litre of water into the baking tray. This will create steam while the loaf is cooking and give the bread a crispy crust. Place the loaf on the middle shelf and bake for 25minutes. Lower the temperature to 180c, gas mark 4 and bake for a further 15minutes. The crust should be dark and crisp and the base should sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Serve (buttered if you wish) with chutney or pickle and extra cheese. ENJOY!!