Obviously, I meant witch. Gosh, get your mind out of the gutter! ;)
Come on guys, we are keeping this blog G-rated right? Ok, perhaps PG but nothing more, I promise, cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.
Did I just go all Saw-style, M/MA 15+ on you? Oops… honest mistake ;)
Anyway, let me go back to the topic on hand. Bread. Dough. Yeast. I may have made it, used it, before but honestly, it is the kitchen bad boy.
Oh, so today you are wearing your brother’s jumper and wearing clogs with no one to impress? Oh, allow me to turn out as the most delicious slice of bread in the whole world. But shhh… it will be our secret because by the time someone else comes over who can eat it, I will be all mouldy. I’m just saying girl, I love you for you.
Oh so, I heard you were having a dinner party today? Damn, I am just not in the mood for you to make me into some fancy braided bread babe, stop trying to change me. I only want to be with you. Therefore, my yeast will not foam, my dough will not rise and I will bake only on the sides, leaving a nice raw middle. Cause babe, it’s only you and me.
Yep, bad boy bread to the bone. What a witch!
But just like bad boys, bread is an addiction and a staple part of your life. Doesn’t matter that it is the reason your hair goes grey at the age of 20 or you chew your nails beyond cuticle point.
You need it. And bread knows it. And boy, oh boy, does it exploit this knowledge.
So next time you are making dough, ready to fashion into bread, remember, you are definitely not controlling it. Rather, you are falling deep under its charm and for its dashing, rugged good looks.
I love you.
Why can’t we work?
Don’t do this to me!
You know what, I give up on you – 2 days later – Bread? Babe? I’m sorry…
On the rare occasions where Mr Bad Boy is feeling especially generous, the results just make all the past problems fall away.
The outside is crunchy and golden, and then you reach the softness inside and chew. You can feel the freshness and do I really need to explain the smell? The smell of every single bakery around the world, the smell that could bring every single villain down to their knees.
In the case of this delicious bready experience, initially, I tried to make a cousin of his (won’t mention which) and we had a huge fight. Wooden spoons were thrown and heads were banged on counters.
But I ended up with a better bad boy anyway :)
The garlic element teamed with a sprinkling of salt and the delicious glossy butter-oil mixture take this bread to new heights.
And is a perfect example of why one should put up with this witch’s tantrums in the kitchen sometimes :)
For a printable recipe, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, it is not working and I apologise for that :(
Adapted From: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
- 5 cups plain flour
- 1 ¾ cup lukewarm water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbs caster sugar
- 1 ½ tbs dry yeast
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 3 tbs butter
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- Sea salt (a must)
- In a large bowl, sift flour
- In a medium bowl, combine water, ¼ cup olive oil, sea salt, sugar. Sprinkle over the yeast, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes or until foams
- Pour mixture into flour and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined
- Tip out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead till soft and smooth, slightly elastic
- Fashion into a ball and place dough into a lightly-oiled, large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draught free area or until doubled in volume (can take up to 3 hours according to your temperature, mine took 1 ½ hours in Autumn)
- Line three baking trays with baking paper
- Punch dough to expel air in one go. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and oil your hands and rolling pin. Divide dough into 2 parts
- Flatten one section of dough slightly with your hands and then use the rolling pin to shape it into a rectangle, approximately 5 inches x 16 inches and ½ inch thick
- Use a pizza cutter and slice strips it are ¾ inch x 5 inch in dimension (mine were random, leading to thick and thin knots but I liked that – rustic :P)
- On the oiled surface, roll each strip back and forth with your hands to form an even rope (a few cracks are ok). Tie into a knot (mine was slightly pretzel style because I did pull the knot in all the way) and place on baking tray, keeping each knot ½ inch apart
- Repeat with the remaining portion of dough
- Cover the baking trays loosely with clean tea towels and let rise until doubled in size (another hour or so)
- Preheat oven to 205 degrees C
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown (if smaller, try 13-15 minutes)
- Garlic Coating: Combine garlic, butter and oil in a saucepan over low heat and stir occasionally till melted and mixed. Add chopped parsley
- Using a brush, coat the knots generously in the mixture and then sprinkle liberally with sea salt
- Serve warm, toasty and with soup for the ideal meal :)