Sunday, 25 April 2010

• Today's batch

Today I blogged about my first experiences making chapati bread. While I was making the chapatis, I was working on a batch of 'everyday' bread too. This week, Steve wanted slicing bread and I am in the mood for rolls... so I made both! I'm trying a variation on my usual technique, inspired by French-born TV chef, Jacques Pepin - instead of doing my mixing and kneading in a bowl, I use a bucket!
"A bucket?" Yes, dear Henry, dear Henry - with a bucket!

What I did is this:
I went out and bought myself a food-grade 6 litre bucket from the local variety store. It's sorta square-ish and it has a hinged lid (the advantages of this lid will soon become apparent!). After washing it well in hot soapy water (always advisable before first use!) and drying it, I weighed out my (500 gms brown) flour and dumped it in the bucket. Then I mixed a tsp of quick yeast and a tsp of salt and a tsp of sugar into the flour. After that I added about 350 mls water to the bucket and mixed the flour and water together until the dough was formed. I didn't really knead it at this point. Then I added 2 tbsp of olive oil to the dough and oiled my hands (to help keep the dough from sticking to them) and mushed everything around vigorously for about 2 minutes. This is all done with one hand. I stopped when the dough seemed well-mixed and elastic. Then I gathered the dough into a ball (more or less, I wasn't too particular about it!), gave it a final mush with my fist and covered it with the lid. Then I picked up the bucket and put it in a corner in our pantry and left it overnight.

The next morning, after breakfast and when I remembered it (!), I fetched the bucket. The dough had risen nicely. (By the way, the slower the rise, the better the bread - and it lasts longer, too!) I floured my (clean) counter and scraped the dough out onto it, sprinkled a little additional flour on top of it and kneaded it for about 2 minutes, adding more flour when it got too sticky to handle. Then I shaped 3 (100 gms each) rolls and made a round loaf with the remaining dough. I put the bread onto a couple of floured baking sheets, sprinkled them liberally with flour and covered them with cling film. After they'd doubled in size, I baked them in a 200˚C oven for about 25 minutes.

And the advantage of the bucket? Only the bucket to clean up because the dough is not kneaded on a surface (until the next day); the bucket has its own lid so towels and/or oiled cling-film are 'history'; the bucket is so easy to position - it can be stowed anywhere so, no need to find an undisturbed surface for a bowl.

They seem like advantages to me! Hope you enjoyed this post!

Lisa x

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