Last week I blogged a review of the new cookbook 'Bread' by Paul Hollywood. I tried to get across the fact that I have in the past had very much mixed results when bread-making, and was relying on Mr Hollywood to teach me his ways, and equip me with knowledge to make the perfect loaf every time.
Coming back to my mission however to learn to bake bread, as I had a busy work week coming up, I got a head start on myself, and actually made my first attempt at the Classic Bloomer on Sunday, when I knew I had time for the proving etc. I used the book and followed the instructions to the letter, and overall was very pleased with the results. After watching the episode on Monday evening, there are a few things I would do differently, it just goes to show that you can get so much from something in writing, but watching it happen really positively enforces the method.
|My first attempt at Paul Hollywood's Classic Bloomer|
As I used the exact recipe, I am not going to lift it, but you can find it here on the BBC Food website. I will however share a few baker's notes from my experiences.
- When adding the yeast and the salt, you have to make sure that the two do not touch each other directly until you start to mix. I use a set of digital scales, and weigh as I am adding to the mixture. For some reason, when I added my salt, the scales did not register any additional weight, and I had to second guess the quantity. My bloomer was a little too salty to taste, and I am unsure as to whether this is because of the quantity of salt in the recipe, or a fault in my measuring. Next time, I will measure the salt out separately and then add it.
- In the book, and on the show, Paul says that you do not need to prove bread in a warm place, any normal kitchen at room temperature will be fine. I tried this, and after around 90 minutes there was hardly any rise in my dough. Taking matters into my own hands I relocated my dough to my go-to 'warm place' and it flourished very nicely after that.
- After the knock back, you shape the dough, and then put it on a tray, cover it and place it in a bag to rise. When I made my bloomer on Sunday, I found that it rose beautifully, however the weight of the greaseproof paper and then the bag caused the dough to expand more sideways than upwards. I ended up with an albeit tasty, very wide and low loaf, that was a bit misshapen at one end. When Paul made the bloomer in Monday night's episode, he place two upturned mugs on either side of the loaf before covering with the greaseproof, so that it didn't touch the top of the loaf. Genius.
And there you have it! I was really pleased with my bloomer, and I'm confident that the next time I make it (which will be soon) I will get it just right! Now I'm really looking forward to tonight's episode, which will be about various flatbreads... Yum!