Sunday, 22 November 2015

Filled and Rolled Loaf

I'm not even sure if this is already in my To Blog list as I have made a bread a few times that this recipe has evolved from. Nevertheless, I had to write about it. As I am wont to do, I was ogling a few of my recent baking snaps, and my greedy eyes rested on the pictures of the filled and rolled loaves that I made a couple of weeks ago.

Having never made two loaves in one day, which obviously involved four sets of hand kneading, I had some tired memories from that experience and was reluctant to do it again. But I'm huuuuuuungry! I decided to do some cursory research on cold proving dough overnight in the fridge as a friend has actually claimed that it produced a better loaf, Naturally I was going down this route. Fresh bread in the morning within an hour of waking?! Yes, please!

Unfortunately my plans were scuppered after I forgot to add sugar to my fresh yeast, which already doesn't seem as enthusiastic as the cakes I have seen in London. Oh well. I shall have to talk about my last bake.

Prior to this point, I had only ever made a bacon and cheese version, and still hadn't settled on a winning cheese combination. Well, this was the time I had to step up to the plate as it were, as a vegetarian cheese-only version had to be produced as well.

I have never used fresh yeast before, however I firmly believe that fresh is always best where possible, so decided to give it a go. Now I have to say that on my previous yeast attempts I used the instant variety, and whilst the bread proved nicely on all occasions, the actual activation was somewhat lacklustre. I should specify that I did not know the difference between dried and instant, and now that I do, the inactivation makes more sense.

Anyhoo, the fresh yeast activation was also marvellously underwhelming. From all the images I had seen, it should produce a glutinous beige semi-paste semi-liquid, however mine was the beige coloured water with some sad bubbles on top. I kept it in a corner in my bedroom that I believe is the warmest, least draughty place in my apartment, and made sure the temperature of the water was optimal, etc, etc,. I suspect the amount of fluid I am using for activation is a bit more than usual, and also the yeast here is just less assuming.

Pre first-prove hand kneaded dough
Aside from the physical workout of kneading the dough (I ought to invest in a stand mixer), the hardest part of this process is retaining the bacon that is used to fill the loaf. It's far too tempting!
The cheese... hmmm, I mentioned earlier how I had some pressure to produce a tasty cheese combination, and a common one that I was finding was parmesan and mozzarella. Now I wasn't so sure about mozzarella, as it is a lovely albeit gentle cheese, that I favour more for its texture than its taste. Well, I decided that I wasn't one to judge on cheeses, not being too well versed in them, so decided on Grana Padano and mozzarella (I couldn't find parmesan). i also had a random half bag of grated Tex Mex cheese, so I threw that in too. I found a nifty trick to grating mozzarella was to freeze it for 30 minutes. Shrewd! I ground black pepper over the vegetarian version, and would have done so for the bacon one, however I forgot. Meh! There was bacon in there!

Mmm bacon
The bacon and cheese bread came out well, a bit of oozing from the criss cross slashing, but I actually found that particular ooze rather charming.

After second prove


The cheese version came out of the oven well, but because I'm a doofus, I cooled the bread upside down, hence squashing the poor loaf. Still tasty, but it looked like it was sat on.

Squashed vegetarian version
Bacon & Cheese slice

Available at Samara's Baked Goods.

I have still not settled on this cheese combination, so will work on it further. Perhaps blue cheese? Opinions, as always, are welcome. Relevant to this post, of course!

Available at Samara's Baked Goods.

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