BBC Good Food Show Bloggers at the Brompton Cookery School

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As one of the BBC Good Food Show Midland Bloggers, I was invited to join the rest of the team up at the Brompton Cookery School near Shrewsbury for a day of chatting, baking, tastings and inside information on the show.

Upon arrival at this beautiful cookery school in the middle of National Trust land in Shropshire, we were treated to rich coffees and wonderful muffins from resident chef and owner Marcus Bean.

After an introduction from Katy and Flo representing the BBC Good Food Show, we were introduced to Marcus and also to Robert Swift from Richard C Swift Ltd (a fifth generation bread baker with a passion for the dough that would be hard to top).

We were given an overview and lots of inside information on the show that I know you’re going to love when you attend next month!

We were given a tour round Marcus’ gorgeous and very well stocked cottage garden from where we foraged pine cones, herbs, wild garlic and flowers to include in the breads that Rob was going to get us to make when we returned indoors.

While Rob worked his magic with the dough that he’d been up from very early that morning preparing for the shop and the Ludlow Festival, Marcus set to work creating a wonderful wild garlic pastry to encase a fresh quiche using locally produced ingredients that we were later to enjoy for lunch as well as an amazing marmalade ham that he was making; the smells from the kitchen were amazing & made us all very hungry!

The history of Swift’s bakery and Rob’s amazing bread recipes were included in a copy of his book, Born & Bread, which we all received.  I’d thoroughly recommend Rob’s book for anyone interested in making bread themselves at home.

Rob taught us to flavour and shape breads that we brought home with us to enjoy.   I filled mine with a delicious combination of locally produced cheese, red onion and sweet chilli sauce.

While our breads were cooling we were treated to a fabulous lunchtime spread of Marcus’ quiche and ham, Rob’s British tomatoes and a selection of some of the amazing food producers who will be exhibiting at the show from fruit teas, to chutneys, sauces, cheeses, pâté, chocolate and meringues.  For dessert Marcus created the most amazingly light and creamy chocolate mousse with a delicious honeycomb topping created by a new to the UK imported chocolate from Vietnam.

As it was Marcus’ birthday on 9th May, we baked cakes to take with us which were judged by the birthday boy himself.  I’m very proud to say that the carrot and lime cake with a mascarpone & orange zest frosting won!!!! I’m now a very proud baker indeed.

We were given fantastic goodie bags to take home packed with some incredible ingredients, all of whom will be exhibiting at the show next month.

As part of the BBC Good Food Show blogging community, I’m offering my readers a discount of 15% on ticket prices. If you want to grab yourself the discount, then click on the image below to take you to the BBC Good Food Show website and enter the discount code of FYC20 at checkout.

Christmas Turkey Leftovers Loaf

Just what do you do with all that turkey & stuffing you’ve got leftover from Christmas dinner? Why, make a Leftover Loaf of course!

500g Strong white flour
10g Fresh yeast
350g Warm water
10g Cornish sea salt
50g Colman’s cranberry sauce
200g Cooked turkey, chopped
100g Stuffing, crumbled/cubed
1. Into a large bowl, place your flour & rub in the yeast to break it down into small breadcrumb sized pieces.
2. Weigh the water into your bowl & sprinkle over the salt.
3. Using a dough scraper. Work the water into your flour until fully combined.
4. Tip the dough onto your table and knead (without adding flour to your table) for 10 minutes until smooth.
5. Lightly oil your bowl and return the dough to it.
6. Cover with a cloth and leave it in a warm, draught free place to rest for 30-60 minutes until risen.
7. Preheat your oven to 240C.
8. Lightly flour your table and tip your dough into it, top side down.
9. Using your hands. Press the dough into a rectangle approx. 60x20cm.

10. Spread the cranberry sauce onto your dough. Leaving a 5cm border on the long edges and a 2cm border on the short sides.

11. Sprinkle the turkey and stuffing evenly over the cranberry sauce.

12. Fold one side of the dough over the filling & press to seal the long edges.
13. Fold the other side over and again press to seal the long edges.

14. Fold  the dough round into a circle and seal the short edges together.

15. Lightly oil a bundt tin and place your ring of dough into the tin.

 

16. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm, draught free place until doubled in size.
17. Place the tin in the oven & immediately turn the temperature down to 220C
18. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
19. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
29. Can also be enjoyed cold.

 

Bread making the Bertinet way

Bread making tips:
* Always use strong flour.
* Do not add more flour than the recipe tells you to.
* Water should be body temperature. When you put your finger in, it should feel neither hot or cold, but should feel ‘wet’!
* Fresh yeast gives a much better flavour. If you can’t get fresh, then it’s fine to use dried ‘easy blend’ yeast but halve the quantity that the recipe suggests or follow the packet instructions.
* If you don’t have a baker’s stone, then use an upturned baking tray in your oven when you preheat it to ensure your bread starts to cook from the underneath immediately when you put your dough into the oven.
* Do not allow your bread to be in a draught when proving. If necessary, place the bowl in your microwave (switched off) with the door closed or in a closed cupboard.
* Have a spray bottle of fresh water handy beside your oven to mist the oven immediately prior to putting the bread in. This will help the crust.
* Have the oven door open for the shortest time you can when misting & putting your bread dough in to preserve as much heat as possible. 
I was lucky enough to attend a bread making demonstration recently at the Meile Cookery School in Oxfordshire with Richard Bertinet. Having seen his method of working the dough rather than kneading it, I was keen to try it out & I did so the following day with spectacular results. I was so impressed with this method that I can’t ever see me going back to the old way of kneading that I’d always used.  Since that Saturday I’ve now made many loaves using Richard’s, method all with success.
So, bearing that in mind and with a huge thank you to Richard for opening my eyes to a new way of working my bread dough, lets “Show the Dough Who’s Boss!!!” 
Richard’s basic bread recipe:
500g Strong white flour
10g Sea salt
10g Fresh yeast
350g Water (at body temperature).
If you are using a baker’s stone, you should put your oven on now to 210°C with the stone in it to make sure that its fully hot ready for your proven bread to go in.  If you don’t have a baker’s stone, you can leave pre-heating it until you have worked your dough.

1. Weigh your flour into a large bowl.
2. On one side of your bowl, weigh the salt and on the other side weigh the yeast. Ensure you keep them apart.
3. Rub the yeast into the flour until it forms small crumbs.

4. Weigh the water into your bowl.
5. Using a plastic dough scraper, mix the dough together in the bowl ensuring you have all of the flour combined.

6. Tip your dough onto a clean Worktop/table. It will be sticky, but DO NOT FLOUR THE SURFACE OF YOUR TABLE!

7. Using your hands with your fingers outstretched & your thumbs parallel to your fingers, LIFT the dough from the table.
8. FLICK the bottom of the dough away from you..
9. As the bottom of the dough starts to swing back towards you, SLAP it down onto the table.
10. STRETCH the top of the dough up vertically.
11. THROW the top of the dough over the bottom. This will trap air into your dough to help make it light & to work the gluten.
12. Each time you go to lift, insert your fingers a 1/8 turn.
13. Continue this lift, flick, slap, stretch & throw about 10 times, keeping the top surface of the dough on top. DO NOT TURN YOUR DOUGH UPSIDE DOWN.
14. Use your scraper to ‘take your dough for a walk’ along the table & back again. Remember not to turn it upside down but to use the scraper to ease it from underneath & almost turn it round sideways. This helps to make sure that you are working all of the dough and that none of it remains stuck to the table.
15. Continue to work the dough & to ‘walk’ it every 10 cycles until you have a smooth dough that springs back when you press it with your finger.
16. LIGHTLY flour your table then turn your dough upside down so your smooth side is now against the floured table. Fold the outside edges of your dough into the centre & press down gently, then give a little turn & repeat until you have a smooth ball.
17. Sprinkle a light dusting of flour into your bowl and place your dough ‘seam side’ down/smooth side on top, into it. Cover the bowl with cling film & leave to prove & rest for 20-60 mins, depending on the temperature of your room. It needs to have doubled in size.

18. As soon as you have put your dough to prove, put your oven on to preheat to 210C (if you haven’t already because you have a baker’s stone). Placing an upturned baking sheet on the shelf will help the bread start to bake from underneath from the moment you put your bread in to cook.
19. Get yourself a water spray (like a plant spray) & fill it with water. Place this close to your oven ready for when you need to put your bread in.
20. Dust a flat baking sheet (or bakers peel) with flour/semolina & put to one side.
21. When your dough has rested & risen, LIGHTLY flour your table & turn your dough out, (top side down) and flatten it out gently with your hands.
22. Fold the edges in to the centre, as before, until you have a smooth round ball.
23. Turn your dough over and on to your dusted baking sheet. Slash the top with a very sharp knife/blade. This controls where the loaf will ‘burst’ so you can make a pattern if you’re feeling arty!
24. NOW YOU HAVE TO DO THIS NEXT BIT QUICKLY AND WITHOUT BURNING YOURSELF IN THE PROCESS. Open the oven door & spray 12-15 times with water. Quickly slide the dough from your baking sheet onto the upturned baking tray that’s in your oven. Apply another few sprays & close the door. Ideally this should only take a few seconds as you need to preserve the heat in your oven.
25. Bake your bread for 30-35 mins until nicely browned & it sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped.
26. Remove to a cooking rack & allow to cool before slicing & eating. 

Huge thanks go to Richard Bertinet (herein known to me as the Dough Daddy!) for opening my eyes to a new & much better way of working my bread dough and for allowing me to share his method with you.  He has also given me permission to create a small video which I’ll upload to YouTube showing his technique of working the dough.

It also goes to the Miele Cookery School in Abingdon, Oxfordshire for the opportunity to see Richard’s demonstration.

Ol Extra Virgin Olive Oil Focaccia

This recipe for focaccia is published with huge thanks to Holly Bell (finalist in the 2011 Great British Bake Off).  I had the privilege to attend two of Holly’s classes; baking & decorating cupcakes and then her bread course.  The recipe below is the one she taught us on the bread course, and is now my ‘go to’ recipe for focaccia bread that I bake. Thanks Holly xxx

I was kindly provided with 3 bottles of Ol Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  This bread has been made with one of these varieties.

250g Allinson strong white bread flour
5ml Salt
1 sachet (7g) dried, easy blend yeast
15ml Ol Extra Virgin Olive oil
200ml Cold water
Cornish Sea Salt

1. Put all the dough ingredients into a bowl and, using one of your hands, bring all the ingredients together, almost with a stirring action.
2. Still using your hand, stretch the dough from the side of the bowl, and press into the centre of the mix.  Give the bowl a 1/4 turn. Your mix will be very sticky, but this is normal.
3. Repeat this stretching, pressing and turning for about 5 minutes.
4. Liberally oil your working surface with olive oil and then tip out your dough onto the surface.
5. Using a dough scraper in one hand to help, use your other hand to continue to knead the dough for 5 more minutes.  DO NOT ADD MORE FLOUR.
6. Place your dough back into your bowl, and cover with cling film.  Leave to prove until doubled in size.
7. Grease a baking sheet well with oil.
8. Tip your proven dough onto an oiled working surface and knead again for 5 minutes.
9. Add any flavourings at this point (torn basil leaves, fresh rosemary, garlic, chopped chilli, caramelised onions).
10. Put the dough onto your baking sheet and flatten down.

11. Cover the baking sheet with your upturned bowl to help it rise, then leave to prove for an hour.
12. Preheat your oven to 220°C.
13. Drizzle your dough with a generous amount of olive oil, then using your fingers, press deep indentations over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt.
14. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
15. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle it with more olive oil.

16. This bread can be enjoyed either hot or cold, with a tomato & mozzarella salad or simply dipped into olive oil.
17. The crumb should be irregular.

I used Ol Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this recipe, which was generously supplied to me, free of charge.  The recipe is courtesy of Holly Bell for kindly allowing me to re-publish it.