I wasn’t able to sleep well last night…a bad back causing me some trouble, so I got up at 6.15am this morning and thought I would do some baking – breads being on the top of my head.
My kneading technique I think for breads is OK, but I thought I would look at the techniques of some professionals. Richard Bertinet, a baker based in Bath at Bertinet Bakery, has a video showing you how to make sweet dough and how to do the whole process of mixing and kneading. Well I followed the instructions to the letter, but really struggled with the sticky-ness of the dough. I kneaded for 20 mins and still sticky. I gave in and left it to rise in a bowl.
Well it turned out rather good, although still sticky. I decided to make some cinnamon swirls with walnuts in, as well as some things called piroshki with apple and raisin filling. They were a bit fiddly to do, but I wanted to do something different. You can find out how to make them from Natasha’s Kitchen.
Brushed with egg (oh and I saw a tip to actually sift your beaten egg…sounds a bit of a waste of time, but is really good…give it a try!) and in the oven. It is really nice if you stick them all a bit too close together, then they fill the tray.
Dough before it goes in the oven. Brush with a beaten egg…try and cover it all.
Oh my goodness, these have to be the best I have EVER made. They are soft and pillowy. As soon as they were out of the oven they were brushed with water mixed with icing sugar. Yum!
yum yum yum!
yum yum yum and more yum!
I also tried to go back to basics with normal bread making. There is a cool online magazine called BREAD and I am trying to learn more about bread and this is really useful. I used their recipe in their first magazine. No butter/marg/oil or sugar. Hmmmm. I used Bertinet’s method for mixing again.
Well it rose OK, but I struggled to make it into any nice shape. It is still sticky, so I cheated and used flour. I tried to make a baguette, which I brushed with the egg, and a round (ha!) loaf. It looks OK, but my ‘normal’ loaves look a lot nicer! Anyway, I cut into the baguette and it is fairly dense, but bubbly, but it is too salty. I do always think recipes have too much salt, so I will have to work on that. It is all done by baker’s percentages. This had 2% salt, so perhaps 1% or 1.5% might be better for me.
First ever baguette with a very simple recipe – flour, yeast, water and salt
So what have you been baking today?