Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tried + tested mr Hollywoods cob

In the world of baking there is one craft that gives me huge satisfaction + that is bread making. The process from beginning to end demands such precision that one lazy move on your part + it all goes belly up.

The chemistry alone is fascinating such as the relationship between the yeast + salt, it's like an old fashioned disco boys on one side girls on the other with the dance floor in between. HA funny but its true with Paul Hollywoods recipes for bread he explicitly says in your bowl add the yeast on one side and the salt on the other as the salt will effect the yeast and make it lazy I suppose.

So for this cob recipe I literally read it and read it again followed it to the letter, when mr Hollywood tells you to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes by god you knead that dough for 5-10 minutes I think I kneaded it for a good 10 minutes with the fear of failing.

Long story short this is a super beginners bread and once followed properly is a smashing bread to make over and over.

For this recipe you will need:
500g strong flour
10g salt
10g instant yeast
30g butter softened
320ml cool water 

Firstly in a bowl I popped in the flour + then sprinkled the salt in one side + the yeast on the other. Pour most of the water in on the flour + add the soft butter, next combine them all together as your mixing add the remaining water drop by drop.
Keep combining until the inside of your bowl becomes clean.

Lightly flour your work surface and plonk out your dough + begin to knead the bread, I preferred the folding technique where you fold it back on its self and then turn its to the side and fold again. Repeat this for ten minutes you'll certainly feel this in you arm and wrist but hang in there it will be so worth it

Once 10 minutes is up you will end up with is silky springy dough mr Hollywood would be proud of. For the cob you need to transform this into a sphere do this by tucking the dough under itself whist constantly swiveling it.

Pop your dough in a bowl which you have slicked with oil and then cover with a tea towel for 2 hours or until your dough has doubled in size. After 2 hours plonk out the risen dough on your lightly floured work surface + knock it back down briefly, shape it again into a sphere but this time pop onto the baking tray + then pop into a clean plastic bag. Leave for an hour to prove. Take the tray out of the bag dust the cob lightly with flour and lastly slash the cob with a knife...

Pop in the oven for 30minutes @230'. What I did for the last 3-4 minutes was turn the bread around to even the colour out on the bread. Once your timer goes off take out your loaf + give it a tap tap under neath, you should get a distinct hollow sound if so bobs your uncle you are now the proud owner of a mr Hollywoods cob 

Rebecca xx

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