Wednesday, 23 January 2013

...baking bread with my dad

 As I mentioned in previous posts, my dad loves baking bread. It all started when we clubbed together and bought him a course on Artisan Bread Making at Flavours School of Cookery. Since then, he's baked nearly every day, and now bakes for one of our favourite local cafes. Whilst it is special to receive delicious homemade loaves still warm from the oven, we have created a monster. My dad is obsessed with bread, and I mean obsessed. He talks about nothing else (well, that and AFC Bournemouth). We often joke about what he talked about before bread (or B.B as we call it), and he's not quite sure of the answer himself.
Anyway, dad does make amazing bread, so I decided it was high time that I baked with him and learn some of his tricks of the trade. The experience, at times, reminded me of him teaching me how to drive, but all-in-all we had a really lovely afternoon!
So here is Kev's recipe for Walnut and Raisin Loaf

350g strong white bread flour
150g wholemeal bread flour
6g dried ready to use yeast
10g table salt
10g brown sugar
40g raisins
40g walnut halves

4tsp walnut oil (not essential)
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
250ml tepid water

Add all your dry ingredients and stir. Then add your wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon (Kev says it must be a wooden spoon; "I dont know why, it just has to be wooden".

Then put in a food mixer with a dough-hook for 3 minutes. If you don't have a dough-hook then knead it for about 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is springy. After it is finished in the mixer, leave it for a few minutes. Then on a flour dusted worktop, knead again until flat and fold into the centre, and keep folding until you make a ball (see pics above).

The next step is to cover with cling film and leave in a warm spot for about an hour, or until it has risen 2 or 3 times its original size.
Then you need to 'knock back' the dough (dad assures me that this is the technical term). This involves pressing your fist gently down on the risen ball of dough to push the air out.
Once that's done, divide your dough in half, and then roll it up. Place each portion in their own oiled loaf tin. Dust with flour and score down the middle. Cover again and leave in a warm place to rise again for about 30-45 minutes. Then they are ready for the oven (finally!). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 for 18 minutes.
Once they have been in for the correct number of minutes tip them out onto a drying rack. Leave to cool.

Dad says they are supposed to be served with cheese-namely blue cheese I think, but we love them toasted with loads of butter and jam. Delicious! Thanks dad.
Happy baking! I'll be back again in a couple of weeks with his focaccia recipe. Yum yum.
Maria x

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