Bake-Off Wednesdays: Bread

Panicky feeling, deep breathing, scared-looking…

That was me last week when I realised this week’s Bake Off is Bread week. I knew the day would come, I just hoped I would have a few more weeks to psyche myself up .

I’m scared of bread. Not eating it (maybe of eating too much of it!), but making it. We had a bread machine that never really produced the goods, the OH tried making it ‘free-hand’ and it didn’t come out quite right, I’m just glad Paul Hollywood hasn’t been around to see any of our bakes!

But it was time to try again… I scoured my pinterest boards to see if I’d pinned anything that would ease my way into bread-making, and found a couple of recipes that looked easy – but maybe too easy. No yeast and no kneading sounded good but a bit of a cop-out – if I was gonna make bread it had to involve at least some of the scary bread-making processes! (I will be trying them in the future though…)

So instead I made:

Truffled Potato and Goats Cheese Flatbread

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A recipe that sounded amazing – if carb-heavy! It involved yeast and proving, but not rising, so that was good enough for me. (I find the ‘will it, won’t it rise’ the scariest!)

And it came out pretty well 🙂 Nice crisp base, (no soggy bottoms here), tasty, made enough dough for two nights tea which is always a bonus, and made me interested to try out other bread recipes in the future – win win.

It’s a nice, quite luxurious-sounding vegetarian meal, but of course you can add meat if you want! We added sausage the second night (because it wasn’t unhealthy enough first time round…!) Also, if you don’t really like truffle oil then any flavoured oil would be nice – or just skip the oil and put some garlic or onions on it. It was like a posh pizza really.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Truffled Potato & Goat Cheese Flatbread

Serves 2 – 3 (using half the dough)

Dough:
1.5 tsp Active Dry Yeast
Just under 300ml Warm Water
475 gms Bread Flour (I used white)
1.5 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Olive Oil

Potato Topping:
200 gms Small Potatoes, sliced as thin as you can make them! (about 6 to 7 potatoes)
2 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
120 gms Soft Goats Cheese
Fresh Thyme
Freshly grated Parmesan
Smoked Paprika
Salt and Black Pepper
White Truffle Oil

To make the dough, put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, until dissolved.

Mix the flour and salt in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with hook attachment. Add the olive oil and the yeast/water mixture. Mix on a medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, it should take about 3 to 5 minutes. (If  the dough seems very sticky at this point, add a tablespoon or two of flour.)

NB: If you don’t have a stand mixer, this can all be done by hand – just takes longer (and i’m lazy)! Put the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon, then knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until elastic (will roughly take twice as long by hand than mixer).

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Transfer the dough to a large bowl greased with oil. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm dry place to rise until it has doubled in size – this should take around 45 minutes.

DSCN0156I put the dough on top of the pre-heated oven near the back to keep warm when proving.

Get out any pent-up aggression by giving the dough a punch (also lets out some air…) and form it into a ball. Wrap the ball tightly in cling film and pop in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the flatbread, put a baking tray on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 230°C. If using all the dough you’ll need two trays.

If only using half of the dough (which makes enough for 2-3 peoples tea), the other half can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for 3 months.

Put the dough on a sheet of baking paper and roll into a thin, large rectangle (I made mine the same size as my baking tray – approx 30cms x 22cms). Brush the surface with olive oil and prick the dough all over with a fork to stop it from rising.

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Toss the sliced potatoes with a little more olive oil and overlap the potatoes over the dough, before seasoning with salt and pepper.

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Transfer the dough and baking paper to the baking tray, and bake until the flatbread is crisp and the potatoes are golden – this should take around 15 minutes.

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Remove flatbread from the oven. Now it’s time to add all the toppings! Sprinkle over some thyme leaves. Crumble the goats cheese over and add a handful of grated Parmesan. Sprinkle over some smoked paprika and any extra salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with the truffle oil.

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Slice and serve straight away!

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Let me know if you have any fool-proof bread recipes I could try 🙂

A little note on truffle oil: Don’t buy it from Waitrose! I made the mistake of buying their “A Drizzle of Truffle Flavour Olive Oil” and there is definitely no truffle in it or anything resembling ‘truffle flavour’. It is disappointing as Waitrose Chef’s ingredients range is normally fairly good, but i went online the next day and found bad reviews for it on Ocado – I wish i’d seen those before i’d bought it. I instead managed to find some white truffle oil from TruffleHunter which actually tastes and smells of truffle – it can be bought in Jamie’s Italian Deli (Bath) or Arch House Deli (Bristol) and is more expensive but definitely worth it!

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