I was somewhat relieved that during bread week, no fondant was used. I do hope the bakers will keep it hidden away in their cupboards from now on! Bread with fondant would have been mental anyway. The showstoppers were all so beautiful! It never seizes to amaze me how creative you can be with bread dough, and not just the supersalted, inedible kind. Even though Luís showstopper bread looked great otherwise, I didn’t exactly agree with using goldleaf on the olives. In fact, I was more or less banging my head into a table at that point. I’m not a fan of goldleaf per se, but using it on bread seems particularly ridiculous (sorry Luís..). Even though Jordan’s bread didn’t turn out great, I really liked the shape of it, with those intricate leafs (?) on top. The signature challenge wasn’t as spectacular, but Luís, again, showed the wizard inside with those amazing two toned rye crescents. Iain’s Moroccan Plaited Loaf looked particularly tasty (and YAY for Iain finally scoring a more than decent bake, I can’t get enough of that beard and that accent!).
Recipe Pinwheel Bread with Bell Pepper Pesto
300 gr strong white bread flour
6 gr salt
15 gr sugar
6 gr instant yeast
20 gr butter, softened
1 medium egg
50 ml milk, at room temperature
100 ml water, at room temperature
olive oil, for greasing
75 gr roasted bell pepper
25 gr walnuts
couple of sprigs of thyme
20 gr vegetarian feta or white cheese
1 clove of garlic
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 medium egg, beaten
1. To make the dough, measure out the flour in a large bowl. Add yeast on one side of the bowl, salt and sugar on the other side. Combine with a balloon whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the olive oil) to the bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled working surface and knead for 10 minutes. Alternatively, knead in a kitchen machine at medium-low speed (Kitchenaid 2) for 5 minutes. The dough should pass the windowpane test. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm or a damp kitchencloth and leave to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.
3. To make the pesto, roast the walnuts and thyme at 170C/340F until the walnuts have sufficiently browned. Now add all of the ingredients to a food processor and whizz until you have a smooth mixture.
4. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
5. Knock the proved dough back by kneading it for about 20 seconds. Divide it into two equal parts. Roll each part into a disc a little larger than 24cm in diameter. Leave to reast for a couple of minutes, then cut the first disc into a neat 24cm disc (place a baking tin on top of the dough as a guideline). Do the same for the second disc.
6. Place one disc onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spread three tablespoons of the pesto over the disc, leaving a small border on the outside. Brush some water on the edges of the disc, then place the second disc on top. Lightly press the edges together.
7. Flour the edge of a glass and place it in the centre of the assembled disc. Press it in lightly. Dip a dough cutter in flour and use it to divide the dough in four equal parts, re-dipping the cutter in flour for each cut. Divide each of these parts into two pieces, and each of those pieces into three. Twist each part three times. Leave to prove for 30 minutes.
8. Once proved, brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle the poppy seeds into the middle of the pinwheel. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a good golden brown. The bread can be served immediately. Enjoy!
Inspired by Richard and At Down Under