22 October 2013

GUEST BLOG: Our daily bread

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

On Saturday's all-day bread session at Chorlton High School, we had loads to make: a traditional tin loaf, soda bread, caraway rye bread and focaccia. The volunteers and myself also made pizza dough from scratch, homemade pizza sauce and toppings, and served this up for lunch halfway through, along with a farro grain and yellow beetroot salad.
First job: ovens on, and soon the kitchen was warming up to the right temperature to help the dough rise later on. After some introductions and health & safety information, it was over to Rob to begin the session. Rob is a very experienced, knowledgeable and passionate baker and throughout the session shares his wealth of experience with the group.

To kick off, the group was shown how to make the soda bread, a variation to the standard loaf as bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk are used, and some very professional looking loaves had appeared from the oven by the end of the session. I will never tire of seeing the spectacular focaccia being made - a piece of rustic heaven. The dough is rolled out, sprinkled with ingredients like black olives and tomatoes, folded over, rolled again and then topped with rock salt, fresh rosemary, sliced red onions and olive oil, beautiful before baking, and quite spectacular after some time in the oven.
The tin loaf never disappoints despite the simple dough-making process, which is just left to rise before going in the oven for a spell. Homemade bread is something that far outweighs the supermarket loaf and all its preservatives. Finally, caraway rye bread was made with a mix of flours and slightly more water than the standard loaf, and with additional honey and seeds of choice. So tasty!
Click here to see our Facebook page for lots more photos of the delicious bread made during this session.
If you missed this session but would like to learn the fine art of baking your own bread, we're running a session in Altrincham on 9 November and in Chorlton on 23 November. Visit http://www.crackinggoodfood.org/ for full details and how to book.

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