Thursday 20 August 2015

GBBO 2015 Bakealong: Week 3: Bread Week

So, Bread Week...

I believe I have expressed my opinions on Bread Week before, so perhaps I won't go into it too much here, but suffice to say, I think there have been problems with realistic timings in the past.
Trying, for example, to make brioche or ciabatta in the time allotted is clearly ridiculous - either they have WAY more time than it looks like on television, or they are just tasting 12 (11?) inedibly undercooked loaves.
In any case, enough of that, and I shall move on to say that I think the signature bake thus week was, under the circumstances, an extremely sensible choice - lovely soda bread - no silly proving time, no fuss over whether of not it is "better" to knead things by hand etc etc...

Personally, I am extremely fond of soda bread - a perfect compromise between breadiness and cakiness, as well as being super swift and easy to make (honestly, SO quick - I easily made it AND my dinner whilst actually watching the episode).

Now, I have a large (some might say excessive) number of books about how to make bread, many of them written by v wise people with much science, cleverness and lovely pictures.
However, the book that I use the most and the one containing the basis of the soda bread recipe I used today is this - the Christian Aid Book of Bread. It has no pictures and no famous master bakers, but I love it dearly, use it extremely frequently, and thoroughly recommend it to all of you.

I didn't have any proper buttermilk, so I chucked in a bit of yogurt and some slightly Heath Robinsonesque "buttermilk" made of milk and vinegar.
I also (rather uncharacteristically) signatured up my bread with pumpkin seeds, as a) they are delicious and b) I happened to find some in a drawer.

And here we go - pumpkin seed soda bread. Good eaten warm slathered with butter!

I vaguely heard someone mention Desserts in a next episode type context, as I was taking my loaf out of the oven, which is an extremely cheering prospect.
I'm on holiday next week, though, so my dessert making facilities may be somewhat limited. I guess we'll see what happens...

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