Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great breakfast bread

Being a connoisseur of the ham sandwich I do like good bread. And since we don't have a small, independent artisan baker close at hand we are stuck with the soggy, flavourless, junk from the supermarket. Not my cup of tea I'm afraid so I make my own. I’ve been making bread for a few years now and enjoy the work of kneading and the smell of the hot bread fresh from the oven. I love making the stuff from scratch and bake a couple of standard loaves about twice a week. But every once in a while I get a taste for pizza and since I have two mixing bowls and only need one for the pizza dough, I like to try out a bread that's a little different. Today's bread is my version of Argentine chimichurri bread, a great breakfast bread, toasted under a poached egg.

The Recipe.
2-1/2 cups plain flour & 1 cup whole grain flour
1-1/4 cups warm water
2 tsp dried fresh yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Good pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Combine the fresh yeast with the water and honey in a bowl.
Leave the mixture to rest in a warm place for 10-15 minutes until frothy on the surface.
With the flour in a large bowl mix in salt, onion, garlic, parsley and cayenne.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast liquid, mix a little then stir in the olive oil and vineager.
Using either floured hands or a wooden spoon, mix together to form dough.
Turn out on to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Return to bowl and cover with glad wrap and tea towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
Turn out on to work surface and 'knock back' by punching the dough. This releases any air bubbles which would make the dough uneven.
Return to bowl and let rise again, turn out and knock back then form the loaf, let it rise further before placing into a hot oven, about 200C for about 25 min.

The oven is a gas fired pizza oven and is the bees knees for bread baking. I brought this little beauty because cooking inside in the summer is impossible, it's just too hot.


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