I can’t believe it’s happened again but I found a perfect way to enter the GBBO Bake Along again this week. It was fortunate that I was attending a dinner party where bread was a welcome addition.
My attempt at bread last year was pretty lame. I made a soda bread, which was okay enough, but didn’t bake all the way through. This year I wanted to do a real bread – with yeast and all – and I was convinced to do a braided version like the show stoppers.
I am not going to lie I found the bread episode very underwhelming. They seem to be struggling. But Val made it through! She’s struggling, but she always brings a smile to my face!
Nonetheless I was inspired by the amazing bread and had my eye set on a rosemary and garlic bread from the get go. While I adapted the following recipe a little bit, all the credit for this recipe goes to the wonderful Kate from The Good Life Eats (though I won’t lie – I’m completely used to the metric system now and wish North America would start using it too because metric is much more precise than imperial. What do you think? I used to love cups, now I’m tired of them.)
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
- 2 3/4 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup flour for dusting the loaves
- Cornmeal for the pans
- To make the dough, in a small bowl, place water and sprinkle yeast on surface, allowing it to stand for three minutes before whisking. After dissolved, whisk in the olive oil.
- In a different bowl, place 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, garlic, rosemary, and salt.
- Add water, oil, and yeast mixture and mix (with a spoon or your hands) to form a smooth, elastic and slightly sticky dough. Incorporate the remaining 1/4 cup all-purpose flour a tablespoon at time if the dough is too soft.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn dough over so top is oiled. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise at room temperature until doubled.
- When it has doubled, press the dough the deflate it. Knead for about 5-10 minutes.
- Divide dough in half for two different loaves. Then separate each into three parts for a simple braid. Braid your loaves.
- Dust pans with cornmeal. Place the braided loaves on and dust each heavily with flour. Cover with plastic or a towel and allow to rise until doubled.
- Preheat oven to 230C and place loaves in oven. After loaves have baked for 20 minutes and are completely risen, lower temperature to 175C and continue baking about 20 to 30 minutes longer, until bread looks golden and springs slightly to the touch. Remove loaves from oven and cool on a rack.
- To braid the loaves, my advice is to braid normally but tuck each end under the loaves.
In the end I thought it was another success. Not only was the braided bread super pretty and kept its shape, but it was also delicious! While the smell of the bread was intense, the taste was delicate and perfect. With our friends, we ate the whole loaf with some cheese after dinner. Definitely a recipe I will try again!
What’s your favourite bread flavour?xx