5 October 2012

GUEST BLOG: Loafing around

By guest blogger TRACEY



It's only our Rob who can inject thoughts of alcohol beverage and the human anatomy into a breadmaking session! Participants at the Bread for Beginners session on Saturday 29 September at Chorlton High School were instructed to make a batch of dough using two-thirds strong white bread flour and one third using a flour of their own choice. The group eagerly embraced the task of selecting and weighing their flour to create their very own "cocktail" loaf... minus the umbrella!

Rob set up an experiment to compare the speed of reaction between the fast action yeast and the dried yeast. Using body temperature water and leaving the mix to activate and form the best 'head' in the warmth of the room, both had the ideal climate to thrive. While the changes occurred, Rob explained how you can use cold, sometimes refrigerated water in place of warm water, but you would need a lot more time. He also discussed the 'science of bread', educating us all on the shape, uses and journey of a grain of wheat - all very enlighting.

The group then mixed the yeast and water in with the flour, adding a quantity of salt to suit each baker's particular taste buds. The dough was then left to rise under a damp tea towel. While the dough was resting, the group got busy peeling garlic cloves to the 'heel and nose' for Rob's famous garlic naan in a pan. Rob demonstrated how to slice and cut the cloves into small cubes, then salt was  sprinkled over the chopped garlic to draw out the moisture and create a dense paste. Natural yoghurt was warmed on the hob, then mixed in with flour, salt, olive oil and garlic paste. The dough was kneaded using the 'heel' of the hand and towards the 'belly button'. The naan dough was split and rolled into tennis ball sizes, then flattened to the size of a plate.

The group's attention then turned to their  loaves, kneading the dough and placing them in well-oiled loaf tins. Once cooked, the 'bottom' was tapped for a slightly hollow sound, then the loaves were left to cool. The session ended with a fabulous collection of freshly baked bread and some delicious garlic naan. The round of applause was well deserved - thanks, Rob!

See our Facebook page for the full photo album of this session. Click here to be redirected.

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