I've been procrastinating about writing this post for the last few weeks, and it's about time I just sat down and did it. Maybe I've been suffering a little from blogger's block, or maybe as is oft my way, I have that much on my to-do list that I've just been faffing about and not doing any of it. A little bit I think it's because this will be my last post in the series that I have been writing about and following Paul Hollywood's 'Bread' and a little part of me is kind of sad that it's all done and dusted.
|Clockwise from Top Left: Classic White Bloomer, Flour Wraps, Homemade Pizza, and a White Loaf|
That being said, I am so pleased that I set myself this challenge, and that I stuck it out to the end. When I started out, I had made a few attempts at baking a white loaf before, with varying degrees of success, had just about mastered Hot Cross Buns, and that was the extent of my bread-making ability. Now, I can readily make a fresh loaf, wraps, naan breads, pizza dough, soda bread, sourdough and brioche to name but a few. I have an active jar of sourdough starter in my fridge, and have used it every Sunday for the last three weeks to make a number of different loaves. Once a week, I make fresh pizza dough when I get home from work, instead of going to the take-away. And I have even been brave enough to start experimenting with recipes and creating my own, my Sourdough Cheese Pinwheel Loaf went down with Gary so well that I have had to make it again - definite win!
|Clockwise from Top Left: Naan Breads, Soda Bread, Cheese Filled Rolls and Pitta Breads|
|Clockwise from Top Left: English Muffins, Sourdough Loaf, Sourdough Starter, Sourdough Cheese Pinwheels|
The final episode of 'Bread' was based on enriched doughs, these are breads that have the addition of eggs or butter in the dough, and create a rich and decadent taste and texture. After watching the episode, there was only one loaf that I wanted to try, the Savoury Brioche Couronne, stuffed with parma ham, mozzarella and twisted into a crown shape, it sounded right up my street.
I used Paul's recipe, which can be found here on the BBC website the only change I made was I halved the ingredients as it looked to make a very large loaf. I was right to do so, as even the halved quantities made a loaf big enough to feed Gary and I for several days. The recipe worked without a hitch, I don't have food processor yet, so I used a hand whisk with dough hook attachments, and it worked just as well.
|The enriched brioche dough|
|Rolled and filled with Parma ham and Mozzarella|
|Twisted into the classic Couronne shape|
|Baked and Golden : Savoury Brioche Couronne|
This whole project has been so rewarding, I have learnt so much about the different doughs and methods for producing different styles of bread, and I am so pleased that bread-making is now a staple part of food preparation and meal times in our house. The Paul Hollywood book is great for beginners like me, because of its pictorial instructions, and equally so for the more seasoned baker, as there are a real breadth of recipes and meal ideas to challenge any ability. I think that the addition of the TV series has really made this process come to life for me, and I definitely learnt additional hints and tips from the show that aren't covered in the book. I really hope that the BBC commission a follow up series to this, but regardless I know that my bread adventure has really only just begun, and I now have the confidence to go out there and keep trying new bakes. Thank you Paul!