Hello again. Have you missed me? Wadda ya mean you never noticed I was gone?! Well, I’ve been busy with gardening, day jobs, family and baking. A short break from blogging had to happen: there are only 24 hours in a day, after all. Always busy, I’ve been honing my skills in the kitchen with a few new toys and suchlike.  I’m the proud owner of this…

Yes! It’s a banneton! I can see you’re impressed. If you’ve no idea what this rattan basket is for, I’ll tell you: it shapes dough during the final proofing stage before baking. As the dough rises it pushes against the patterned interior, taking on the tight spiral pattern. The results can look fantastic. So what bread are you going to bake using this fancy pants thing? An artisan bread mix, of course…

I enjoyed my first Bacheldre bread mix and have been determined to blog another one ever since. Hearty bread full of flavour – the only acceptable loaf IMO. As ever the on pack directions list the additional ingredients the baker needs.

  • 300ml water (or dark ale)
  • 25g (or one tablespoon) butter or oil

The dark ale addition will have to wait for another day, I’m keeping it simple with water. Perhaps a side by side comparison post in the future. Anyway, combine the dry mix and water and oil until a soft dough is formed. Knead for five minutes then cover and leave for half an hour. Knead for five minutes more then cover again and leave for another 30 minutes. Form dough into a smooth ball. Take the banneton and flour it well – the dough must not stick to the basket. Place the ball upside down into the floured banneton. 

Cover over and leave until fully risen (an hour or so).

 Find a baking sheet, place it in your oven and preheat to 230°c. Be careful here as the risen dough must be placed on the baking sheet. Use cloths/oven gloves/someone else to invert the banneton and release the dough. As the flouring was good, nothing should stick should it? Okay so far? Work quickly to get the (now sizzling dough) back in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. The very hot sheet will help the base of the loaf crisp up.

Slash the dough to help oven spring and overall appearance.. 

Okay, Mr Bread Blog. Why not use a loaf pan? Is this banneton stuff really necessary at home? The look of the bread alone is enough reason to use a basket. If you want a professional finish (and impress yourself more than others) it is the only way to go…

Isn’t that worth the effort? A great loaf from a high quality bread mix. Bacheldre Watermill scores high.

Score 4.5/5

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