Alas.... I can't eat much of it because given the chance I'd eat my weight in the stuff!
But occasionally, I give in to the devil of temptation and bake a gorgeous artisanal loaf.
Hot off the oven, I cut thick slices of this heavenly stuff, slather with Kerrygold salted butter and drizzle with deep amber honey. As you can see, I have bread issues!
This recipe from Paul Hollywood is sensational. One of the great things about my job is that I work with fellow Culinary Instructors and that means I always surrounded by amazing talent and recipes. My colleague invited me to a demonstration of this bread and I was hooked!
Of course, no way was I going to someone's word for it and promptly set out to re-create the recipe in my home kitchen. As y'all know each recipe here is personally made by me and tested and tweaked before I bring it to all of you.
Now I cannot lie, Ive made changes. I found it quite painful to measure the tiniest bit of ingredients in gms.
And neither do I think we need to be so OCD in our approach. Since then, I've made it several times using all purpose flour and bread flour and the results are fabulous.
So without much further ado, let's bake us a boule!
Boule Blanc, White Cob Loaf
500 gms or 17.70 oz. all-purpose or bread flour (measure by weight using a electronic kitchen scale)
1 tbs salt, measured level with spoon
2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp sugar
approx. 1/2 cup water to knead dough + extra flour for
2 tsp olive oil to grease mixing bowl
to proof yeast:
1 packet active dry yeast
3/4 cup water
1 tsp sugar
Also, an electric stand mixer, a large proofing bag or clean plastic garbage bag, a bag clasp or zip ties, a baking stone if using and parchment paper or silicone mats for baking
Proof the yeast: In a Pyrex measuring cup, add the water and sugar and microwave for 30 seconds or so until warm approx. 110 deg. f. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes or so until the yeast has foamed up.
Flour mixture: Directly in the mixing bowl of the electric stand mixer, measure the flour and add the salt, sugar, butter.
Add the proofed yeast and water little by little. Stir with a spatula or your hand, until the dough become quite shaggy looking. Set aside for 10 minutes so the starch molecules swell up with water and the dough hydrates.
Attach a dough blade to the stand mixer and add little more water as needed until a dough ball is formed that is smooth and silky.
1st Proof of dough: Coat a stainless steel mixing bowl with 1-2 tsp olive oil and place the dough ball and coat with olive oil.
Place in a warm place like the microwave or off oven for approx. 1-2 hours until the dough ball has swollen up to double it's size.
2nd Proof of dough:
On a silicon mat or clean and dry work surface, lightly flour and scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the surface. Repeated;y fold the dough over and over and shape into a round smooth cob shape. Cup your hands to form a cage so you can shape the dough into a perfect round.
Cook's Note: If not using a silicon mat, then line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Transfer the dough ball & silicon mat onto a baking tray or transfer the dough-ball onto the parchment lined baking tray. Place the baking tray into the plastic bag and puff up with air and tie tightly at the end so the bag is puffed well above the level of the dough ball allowing it to rise.
Set aside for 1 hour until he dough has at least doubled in size and springs back quickly to touch.
30 mins into the proofing, pre-heat oven to 450 deg. F.
Begin to heat water in a kettle or small pot. Take a Pyrex baking dish and place on the bottom rack of the oven. Place a baking stone if using on the top rack above the dish with the water.
To bake: Dust the dough ball lightly with flour uniformly taking care not to punch down the dough in any way. Using a very sharp knife, gently slash the dough ball.
Fill the baking dish on the bottom rack half full with hot water. The steam from the water will give the boule a lovely crust.
Transfer the bread (on the silicon mat or parchment paper) in the hot oven on the baking stone, if using or on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. It should be dry and make a hollow tapping sound when tapped.
Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or warm.
Enjoyslices slathered with butter and honey or serve with a nice piping hot bowl of soup!