Keeping on the theme of simplicity of good food I recently gave the girls of ‘VIVA Magazine‘ a master class in bread, showing them just how simple bread making can be. We used one simple bread recipe to make the dough and made fresh bagels, English muffins, country baguettes and and our very own show-stopping focaccia.
“…the simple recipes are complicated by big egos…”
There are so many variables that we ‘pro’ chefs use and all too often, the simple recipes are complicated by big egos and the thought that a complicated recipe makes a great recipe! Well just like granny’s everywhere in the world have all once said, “the simplest recipes are the best”, and they are all exactly right. At work, there can be some complicated recipes that are warranted, for example, a macaroon recipe can be somewhat daunting and bring even the best of chefs to tears! But that’s not what we’re about at Full Flavour Behaviour! Let’s keep the ingredients great and the methods easy, it’s a sure fire way of letting the flavours shine through.
Give this recipe a go, it’s really easy and your friends and family will be amazed that you’re so talented!
- 500g strong white flour
- 250ml warm water
- 20g fresh yeast or 10g dried yeast
- 12g salt
Chuck the lot in bowl, mix it together and kneed it well on a work surface until the dough is silky and smooth.
At this point your oven should preheated to 200 degrees centigrade or the mega hot setting!
Bagels, roll small pieces of dough into long thin sausages and squeeze the ends together to make a ‘hoop’. Prove the bread somewhere warm until double in size. Poach for 3 mins in boiling water, drain them and dry them, glaze then with egg wash and bake for 12 minutes.
Muffins; roll into balls and flatten them slightly, coat them in semolina or fine polenta, leave them somewhere warm and prove until 1/3 bigger in size. Fry them in a frying pan (dry/no oil) on a medium heat for 6 minutes on each side)
Focaccia; mix into the dough some fresh chopped rosemary and garlic and roll out a thin square of dough that will easily fit into a baking tray. Coat the tray with olive oil and place in the focaccia dough, drizzle over some more olive and let it prove until double in size. Poke the dough so you make little indents in the top, put in some rosemary sprigs to garnish, sprinkle over some sea salt flakes and maybe a little more olive oil (ala Jamie Oliver) and bake for 20minutes.
If you look back over the previous columns you’ll find some great recipes – by now you should have a dinner party’s worth! Have a go and let me know how you get on.
Until next week Manchester…
Head Chef at Michaels Caines Cafe Bar & Grill ABode Manchester
All views expressed are those of the author.