September 12, 2018 11:19 am Leave your thoughts
It’s a little cooler in the Bake-Off tent this week. In the drizzle, bees ease out of foxgloves and pheasants cavort off-camera. Like a pantomime wasp, Noel buzzes around the contestants, drawing cats. Paul, wrapped tightly in a trench coat, broods like Heathcliff. He sleeps, alleges Noel, in a bap. It’s bread week!
‘It’s all about the dough’, says Paul, as he does every year. In an air thick with flour, the contestants pummel and pound Himalayas of bread, pillows of bread, scaffolds of bread and crowns of bread. They make spiced bread, fruity bread, garlic bread and nutty bread. They concoct gay bread, blessed bread, party bread and dead bread. It’s a gluten-enriched extravaganza of a week.
Get fruity with us
Most of the contestants plump for dried fruit as an extra, to win Paul’s approval. They need the very best – rich and moist and full of flavour. At Naturally Good Food we’ve got the most fragrant dried fruit you’ll find this side of the Bake-Off tent. From our organic, dark and richly flavoured apricots, to our bright, tart cranberries, you’ll find all you need on our shelves. Check these options out:
- Sultanas: mellow and rounded
- Raisins: bright with the taste of the sun
- Dates: whole and chopped
- Apricots: chopped and whole
- Mixed peel: the finest organic Italian lemon and orange peel
- Cranberries: a sweet berry that holds its shape well within the dough
Proving their worth
Who was toast of the week – and who was simply toast?
Rahul, like a terrified woodland creature with access to nuclear technology, produced a second astounding showstopper and was crowned Star Baker once more. I’m not following twitter, but I’d imagine the number of marriage proposals for him has reached triple figures. The judges would need hearts harder than a two-day-old baguette to eliminate him.
To prove last week’s predictions wrong, it was Anthony who said a tearful goodbye. His prayers (presumably to St Honore, the patron saint of bakers) had failed to save him.
Troubleshoot your bread!
Too dry, too wet, too sticky; underbaked or overbaked; too small, too large – the bakers encountered all the usual bread problems this week. One particularly common issue, in cooler weather, is dough or yeast mixture that simply fails to rise properly. We’ve got some good advice on that here, whether you’re baking in a tent or a kitchen:
What if you’re gluten-free?
I don’t think Paul has much truck with gluten-free diets. But for those who are coeliacs, or otherwise avoiding gluten, being able to make fantastic gluten-free bread is essential.
If you’re not entirely sure about going gluten-free, but are looking for something that’s especially easy to digest, we’d recommend our range of sprouted breads, from Everfresh – as well as our sprouted flours from Rude Health, to make your own bread. Rude Health explain that the sprouting process allows the grains to turn from starches into vegetables, making them rich in easily digested nutrients and naturally lower in gluten.
Savoury walnut bread recipe
Being nuts for bread as we are, here’s a recipe for a bread with some of our nuts in it!
Deliciously soft (thanks to the sour cream) and with a touch of spice, this is great slathered with butter or served with a hunk of cheese. You can use walnut halves or quarters for the loaf – or even just the bashed up bits and pieces at the bottom of one of our bags.
500g strong white flour
2 tsp sugar
15g fresh yeast
150ml warm water
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml sour cream
Dissolve the sugar in 150ml warm water, then add the yeast. Whisk well, then set aside in a warm place until a reasonable sized ‘head’ appears.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, paprika and bicarbonate of soda together, before adding the walnuts.
Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and stir in the sour cream. Mix to form a soft dough, then knead for five minutes.
Cover with oiled cling-film or a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place for about an hour, during which time it should double in size.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for three minutes. Place in a greased loaf tin and cover once again. Place back in the warm place for half an hour.
Bake in an oven preheated to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7 for 35 minutes.
Tags: aged balsamic vinegar, apricots, baking powder, Bread week, cardamom, cardamon, chopped apricots, chopped dates, cinnamon, cranberries, dates, dried fruit, Everfresh, GBBO3, gluten free flour, gluten-free bread mix, mixed peel, Nuts, organic dried fruit, pecans, pistachios, pure, raisins, rude health, spices, sprouted bread, sprouted flour, strong white flour, sultanas, walnut halves, walnut quarters, yeast
This post was written by Yzanne