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.
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!
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.
So what have you been baking today?