Bread of Heaven

Bread of Heaven or in my case Bread of Great British Bake Off.  This week The Great British Bake Off made three different types of bread:-

Quick breads

Baguettes

3d Bread Sculpture

My first bake was the 3d sculpture and after looking into a theme I came up with the idea of  a Yin & Yang shape.  My design was made from a batch of white bread and  brown bread.  I wasn’t convinced it was going to turn out as well as it did as the white bread rose a lot more than the brown bread when proving however the final result was an even bake.  I also had some dough left so I made some bread rolls to have with my lunch (yum yum).

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For my second bake I made baguettes.  A baguette is made from a normal bread dough recipe but the proving time is double and when the baguette is baked a roasting tin of hot water is placed in the bottom of the oven to create steam which gives the baguette a crust.  This bake went a bit wonky as my final shape was a lot larger than a normal baguette but it did taste like a baguette and was delicious straight out of the oven with lashings of butter

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My final bake for this week a quick bread.  A quick bread is a Soda bread and the reason it is called a quick bread is because it has no proving time and the kneading is very minimal.  I used a normal soda bread recipe and I added my own twist by adding some mexican flavours (cumin, chilli, paprika, oregano and coriander).  I always find soda bread doughy so I liked the idea of adding some spices to the bread to take away from the doughy taste.IMG_3598

Arlette Biscuits

For my Third bake from episode 2 of the Great British Bake off I have made Arlette Biscuits.

Arlettes are a French biscuit that are made from puff pastry with sugar and cinnamon rolled through giving you a spiral effect.

The trick with puff pastry is to keep every thing cold. So once the dough has been made and rolled into a square it is then placed in the fridge for an hour.  in the meantime flour and butter are beaten together and chilled in the fridge for half an hour.

The dough is then placed onto the butter mixture and the exposed butter mixture edges are folded over the dough so the dough is completely enclosed in the butter sheet.  The mixture is then rolled out to a rectangle and the top and bottom quarter are folded unto the centre and then folded in half,  this is called a book turn.  The dough is then wrapped in cling film and chilled for 25 minutes.

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The book turn is done again and the dough is cooled in the fridge for another 25 minutes.

The pastry is then rolled out to a rectangle and a mix of  sugar and  cinnamon sprinkled over the dough and another book turn is made before rolling the pastry into a rectangle.  I then rolled the pastry into what looked like a swiss roll and placed the dough into cling film and chilled it for another 25 minutes

Once chilled the dough is then cut up into slices and each slice is then rolled out into very thin sheets before placing in the oven for 8 minutes.

If done properly you should have a thin crisp biscuit that make a nice crisp sound when snapped in half.

I really enjoyed this bake as I got to try lots of new techniques and I also got  some really good comments – YayIMG_3570

Biscotti

IMG_3550Week two of The Great British Bake Off and it’s biscuits with the fist challenge being Biscotti Biscuits.  Biscotti means cooked twice.

A traditional Biscotti is normally made up of pistachios with white chocolate and cranberries but I have decided to go with a hazelnut and chocolate biscotti.

My Biscotti was made by mixing together flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and adding orange zest, hazelnuts and chocolate chips.  In a separate bowl I whisked together eggs and sugar until they were light and fluffy and then folded this into the dry ingredients.  This was then all folded together to make a soft dough.  I then tipped the dough onto a floured surface and shaped it into a ciabatta shaped.

The trick I found with Biscotti was to make sure it is not over cooked and to remember it will be baked twice.

When I had shaped the dough I then baked the Biscotti for ½ an hour and then left it to cool on a cooling rack.  You must wait for the Biscotti to cool before slicing it into 1cm slices if you cut into slices before the cooked dough has cooled it will crumble.  When sliced I then placed back in a cooler oven for 10 minutes.

These are nice crispy biscuits but I would add more chocolate chips next time.  If you’re lucky to have some biscuits left they will store in a tin for unto three weeks.

Doughnuts

This weeks bake is doughuts.

I have always wanted to make these but i have never had the chance as when i say I’m going to bake them I have to wait till Mam is at home as you need to cook doughnuts in boiling oil  and I think leaving me alone with that would be a big mistake especially as I was a disaster with the blow torch.

Having made my dough which had risen nicely and made the chocolate custard filling I was really happy with what I had done so far, Then it came to cooking the doughnuts and this was a complete nightmare. unknown to me I had my oil too hot which meant the doughnut was cooking very nicely on the outside but the inside was still raw.  I didn’t know this until after I had let them cool and rolled them in sugar.  When it came to cutting the doughnut I realised they were still raw inside.

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So i thought i would just put them back into the oil for them to cook more. As you can imagine this did not make the situation any better as I was now left with caramel covered doughnuts that were raw inside. so I decided to start all over again and remake my dough.

Having made some properly cooked doughnuts I then went onto to fill them which led onto the next problem which was my piping.  When I tried to pipe my jam and chocolate custard into the doughnuts they kept splitting apart and my filling went everywhere so in the end I was left with just four doughnuts that that were just about doable.

I wanted to do this bake for ages and although I had to start again I still had fun and it was worth it because they tasted yummy and I would definitely make them again.

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Hot cross buns

As it was Easter this weekend i decided to make hot cross buns. This bake was a challenge with a lot of new and hard techniques.

The dough was fun to make and shape but they had to prove for an hour so all i was doing while waiting was washing up.

The buns consisted of flour, milk, eggs, mixed spices, mixed fruit and yeast all mixed together then proved and shaped, then just before putting them in the oven you put a cross on them made from plain flour and water.

Since making the buns I have been waking up every morning and going downstairs then putting one in the toaster and then spreading it with butter. Yum!

Did you know :-

Hot cross buns are usually eaten during lent.  In Tudor times it was forbidden to sell buns except on Good Friday, Christmas and at burials.  Supersition says that hot cross buns baked on Good Friday won’t go mouldy through the year.

The cross on top of the bun represents the cross on which Jesus died and the fruit and spices are the cloth that was wrapped around him after he was taken from the cross

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