Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake. There was cake in the bread bin, cake in the freezer, cake in the fridge – well an apple pie in the fridge, and half a stegosaurus on the kitchen table. I didn’t really feel like making a cake this week.
I decided on a Roquefort and walnut-filled loaf. It’s a Paul Hollywood recipe from The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking. It’s also available on BBC Food. It has rye flour and walnuts in it so, if you ignore the half-tonne (200g) of Roquefort, it’s a pretty healthy change.
I mixed strong white bread flour and rye flour together, added salt on one side of the bowl and fast action yeast on the other. The next step was to mix in some cool water. So what temperature is cool water? Is it room temperature or is it colder? It’s not water from the fridge, but would water from the cold tap be OK? The recipe on the BBC website doesn’t say anything about the temperature of the water, so I suppose it’s not important to be specific. I dithered a bit and decided to use water from the filter, which was at room temperature.
I’d decided to use the KitchenAid rather than kneading by hand, so I started the mixer and added the water until I had a dough. Now, the recipe calls for 350ml of water and says add 250 initially and then more until you have a soft dough. I got a soft dough with at least 75ml of water left and I’m not sure whether this is because of the flour I used, or whether my dough wasn’t soft enough. I gave the mixture five minutes at the lowest speed on the KitchenAid to get a smooth dough.
The next step was to add chopped walnuts. I’ve had trouble kneading extra things into dough before; hazelnuts and figs into a wholemeal loaf and dried fruit into hot cross buns, so I went slowly and carefully with the walnuts. It took a while, but I did end up with a walnutty dough and only had to poke a few escapees in with my fingers at the end.I left it to prove for a couple of hours.
There was no Home and Away for me during proving. I had chores. I had to sort out my car battery, put some special cleaning stuff onto the kitchen floor, pay some bills… OK, I may have sneaked an episode while I had some lunch, but it was only one.
I returned to the dough after two hours. It had doubled in size but wasn’t much bigger. The recipe says it should be left until it has “doubled or trebled” in size. Not helpful. What should it be, double or treble? Would double be OK, or should I aim for treble?
I decided to work with my doubled-in-size-dough. I turned it out onto the work surface, squashed it, turned it in on itself a few times and divided it into four pieces. I flattened each piece into a rectangle around 15x8cm.
I put the Roquefort along the long edge of the rectangle and rolled each piece up like a Swiss roll and continued to roll until I had four long sausage shapes.
I coiled up each piece into a spiral, put them into an oiled spring-clip cake tin and left them to prove for another hour. When the hour was up, I brushed the top with beaten egg and put them into the oven at 200° fan for 45 minutes. This is what I ended up with.
I have to say, I was pretty pleased with the way it looked. It was quite like the picture in the Big Book of Baking.
I had a chunk for lunch yesterday. It’s good, but a bit on the salty side – a bit too much Roquefort perhaps? It would also have been nicer with a pint rather than a cup of tea, but this is true of most lunches – most of my lunches anyway.