21 January 2013

GUEST BLOG: Bread winners!

By guest blogger EMMA SMAIL

Saturday saw another sell-out Breadmaking For Beginners session at Chorlton High School. Eleven bakers were introduced to the secrets to successful bread and the wonders of yeast by our resident bread expert Rob.

The four simple ingredients of flour, yeast, salt and water were mixed into a dough and left to rise while the group worked on their naan dough. To teach the group about how yeast behaves, Rob left some yeast in a jug of water with some sugar for it to ferment - this helps the dough to rise.
After a while the yeast in the jug had created a marvellous thick foam due to the carbon dioxide it was releasing as a result of eating all the sugar. It was amazing for the group to see this process up close.

In the meantime, Rob shared some useful tips on making a garlic puree for the naan. If you take the top and the tail off a garlic bulb then score the back of it, the skin will slide straight off. Also, after the garlic is finely chopped if you leave salt on it for one hour, it will draw the moisture out of the garlic and it will then all blend up into perfect garlic puree.
Flour, yeast, olive oil, warm yoghurt and the garlic puree were combined to create the naan dough, which was also left to rise as the bread dough was kneaded.

Once both doughs were ready, the bread dough went into bread tins and into the oven and the naan dough was rolled into a sausage, chopped into six small sections, rolled out and fried in a little sunflower oil. The room soon filled with the smell of freshly baking bread combined with the garlic smell of the naans, and everyones’ mouths were watering, ready to get stuck in.

The group enjoyed the freshly fried naans with some houmous there and then and took their loaves home to share with friends and family. Lots of fun was had and everyone learned lots. Thank you to Rob for his expertise.

Some of the feedback we received...

"Enthused and inspired! Excellent, thank you very much – feel confident now."

"Really informed and relaxed environment."
"Thank you - very inspiring and a confidence boost for total beginners to bread. Will tell friends to give it a go!" 
"Excellent. Enjoyed Rob’s enthusiasm and knowledge."
"Rob was really excited about the topic of bread and was interesting to listen to and very informative. I thought the naan-in-a-pan was a good addition and very easy to do at home."

There are more photographs from this session on the CGF Facebook page.

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