Suitably inspired to start my week of baking in style, I splashed out on Paul Hollywood‘s book, “How to Bake” – after all, I was after getting back to basics, so who better to consult than the master baker himself?
This is my first attempt at his recipe for Barm Cakes, which all in all worked quite well. My one reservation as the limited amount of time I had (these needed to be on the table for an entertaining lunch), combined with the recent drop in ambient temperature – I think that next time I’d like to give them longer to rise and longer to prove as I didn’t get the growth that I had expected. Having said, the texture was great, nice and light with a subtle sweetness.
Well worth a try!
Makes 12ish, takes 3 1/2 – 4 hrs
- 500g Strong White Flour
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 10g Fast Action Yeast
- 40g Golden Granulated Castor Sugar
- 40g Butter, diced & softened
- c320ml Cold Water
- A little Olive Oil
- Flour for dusting
- Put the flour, salt, sugar, butter and yeast into a bowl (keep the yeast aside from the salt) and mix briefly with your hands
- Add about 3/4 of the water and mix together with your fingers, bringing the dough together. add more of the water until you have a soft dough – it will be quite sticky, but not soggy. NB: you may need more (or less) than the quantity of water specified
- Use the ball of dough to clean out the bowl and tip onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Refrain from adding more flour, despite the fact that it may seem quite sticky – this will start to improve as the kneading progressed
- Lightly oil the bowl and return the kneaded dough. Cover with cling film and set aside out of the draft to rise for at least an hour, until doubled in size
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock back, Work the dough by folding in on itself – this will eradicate any big air pockets and give a consistent bread with fine, even texture
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces – this can be done by cutting into 2 pieces, rolling each into sausage shapes and cutting each into 6. Adjust the size of each to make them even. Alternatively, weigh out lumps of dough, they should be around 70-75g a piece
- Carefully work each piece into a neat round – try and get any seams on the bottom and a smooth side on the top. NB: this shaping is definitely something I need practise on…
- Leave the shaped dough to rest for 30 mins
- Take the rested dough and with your fingers, flatten out to even rounds which are twice the diameter of the original roll. Place on baking sheets (prepped with baking parchment), making sure that there is plenty of room between each. Cover over with cling film or in a plastic bag and set aside to prove until they have doubled in size – about an hour
- Remove cling film and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven, 210oC. When cooked they’ll have a golden brown top and sound hollow when the base is tapped
- Cool on wire racks before eating
- Bread: A Year in the Making (coachmeghan.wordpress.com)