Saturday, 17 May 2008

Over-Night Bread

This is my second attempt at baking bread. I was quite nervous, as my previous attempt, a rosemary focaccia, flopped spectacularly. It was all going so well and had looked just like the recipe. However, the shelf of the oven was being used as a grill rack for an improvised shopping-trolley-barbeque (!!) so when it came to baking and we were still using the shelf, the focaccia had to wait. For a long time. Eventually when the oven was useable, I thought it looked a bit too puffy and flattened it a bit. It came out like a piece of cardboard. That'll teach me for drinking and attempting to bake.

This recipe came from here, but I adapted it as I only had white bread flour. I had only read part of the recipe and had not realised how long it would take, so for the last 45 mins of proving, I stuck it in the fridge, ready to bake in the morning. I attribute it's shortness to this, but it was still very tasty. In fact, it was great sliced in a ciabatta style, lengthways. So here's my version.

Over-night Bread

125gr warm water

1 level teaspoon of easy-blend yeast

300gr white bread flour, split into 100gr and 200gr

125gr cold water

1 level tsp fine salt

Olive oil

Combine the yeast and the warm water in a bowl, cover and leave for two hours. Add the rest of the flour, cold water and salt and stir well. Get your hands in there to get it thoroughly mixed - this is a messy recipe. Cover for 15 mins to hydrate.

Rub some oil on your hands and pat some on top of the dough. Knead for 15 seconds, cover and leave it for 45 minutes. Knead for 15 seconds every 15 minutes. Finally, knead for another 30 seconds, and place it in your oiled and floured 2lb loaf tin. Cover, place in the fridge over-night.

In the morning, take out of the fridge and leave to warm up to room temperature. Sash the top with a shard knife and dust with flour. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees celcius. Add a baking tray with some ice cubes to create steam, and put the loaf in. Bake for 20 mins, then reduce the temperature to 200 degrees celcius and bake for a further 20 mins. Turn out on a wire rack and leave to cool before eating.

It's a really great recipe for the weekend - I got in on Friday night and it was great to have freshly baked bread for my Saturday morning breakfast / brunch.

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