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Blog Posts (8)

  • The Simple Overnight Tin Loaf

    Many times when we discuss matters related to pizza or bread dough preparation the biggest hurdle to many people is how to fit your daily schedule with that of making a good dough. This is what stops many from becoming regular bakers. Our response is simple - fit the dough to your schedule and not the other way round. Take this loaf for example. It takes ten minutes to mix, a minute or two to pre-shape, the same for shaping and then all the fermentation is done slowly in the fridge while you're asleep. The following morning you can bake right from the fridge with no messing about. Do not let the simplicity fool you though. The end result is amazing and totally worth while. Give it a go and feel free to adapt it to your preference. If you don't have time to wait for the dough to rise before shaping, just pause or slow down the process in the fridge. Learn how to use time and temperature to your favour. The more you bake it the easier (and better) it becomes. The ingredients given are also just a suggestion. The Cuoco works well with overnight fermentation and the flavour is enhanced with the blend of cereals from the Cuor di Cereali. Feel free to use any seeds which you have available. You can also do this loaf using Tipo Uno which will give a wholemeal loaf. The amount of yeast can also be changed depending on the time available and the temperature of your kitchen. The recipe given here makes one loaf for a tin 24.5x10.5x7cm, available here. You can make two loafs by simply doubling the ingredients and dividing the dough after step 2, before pre-shaping. Ingredients: 500g Caputo Cuoco or Pizzeria 50g Caputo Cuor di Cereali 350g Water 8g Fine Sea Salt 3g Caputo Dry Yeast 20g Kalamata EVOO 1. In your Kenwood bowl mixer, add the flour, yeast and salt. Using the K beater, mix on the MIN speed for a few seconds and start pouring in the water. When all the water is absorbed add the olive oil to the mix. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 8 to 10 minutes on speed 1, increasing to 2 for the last minute. 2. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Take the dough out of the mixer bowl and transfer to a lightly floured working surface. Form the dough into a tight ball as shown below. Place into a lightly oiled dough container or bowl and cover. Leave to rest for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. 3. Lightly flour your working surface and using a dough scraper turn out the dough onto the surface. Make sure that the dough is flipped upside down, sticky side up. Slightly flatten the dough with your fingers and fold the dough into another tight ball by pinching an edge, stretching and folding over to the centre. When a ball is formed, press all the seams together and flip the dough over once again, bringing the smooth side to the top once again. Cover and let rest for a few minutes and grease the loaf tin. 4. Flip the dough upside down onto a lightly floured surface. Once again flatten slightly into a large disc using your fingers. Grip the side edges of the dough and pull to stretch sideways. Fold one side two thirds of the way over the dough and do the same to the other side so that it ends up overlapping the first fold, forming a large triangle. Take the pointed edge and roll the dough towards you, forming a tight sausage. 5. Stick the seam together. Place the dough in the tin, seam side down and transfer to your fridge, uncovered, ready for the final proof. This should take anywhere between 8 to 12 hours, depending on the temperature of your fridge. When the dough has puffed up considerably, it is ready to bake. 6. Heat your oven to 220C (fan) and boil some water in a kettle. If you are happy with the rise of the loaf, you can bake directly from the fridge. If the loaf has not risen enough, you can take it out of the fridge while your oven preheats. Transfer your loaf to the oven and carefully pour some hot water in the baking tray at the bottom of your oven. Reduce the temperature to 200C. 7. Bake for 45 minutes or until you are happy with the colour of the crust. When the loaf is done, carefully remove the loaf from the tin and place it on a wire rack until it cools completely. If you would like more colour (or crispiness) on the bottom of your loaf, return to the oven without a tin.

  • Sourdough Ciabattas

    Ciabattas are light Italian loaves with usually a rather irregular shape similar to a shoe, hence the name. Turns out they’re not too difficult to make, especially if you’re familiar with wet doughs and if using a strong flour like the Caputo Manitoba. Contrary to usual bread, it does not actually need to be kneaded and if you have a good kitchen mixer making the dough is a breeze. You just need to give it time to ferment and rise slowly so as to develop a good flavour and get those sought after bubbles, making the final product really light and tasty. To develop better flavours, this recipe involves making a preferment first, a levain which is made with sourdough starter for added flavour. If you do not have this you can replace it with usual dry yeast in the suggested quantities. You could also substitute 50g of Manitoba with the same amount of Caputo Tipo Uno for added taste. This dough includes a small amount of olive oil in it which will also help in the handling of the dough. It is recommended to use a good quality olive oil as the final flavour will be better. Ingredients: For the levain: 250g Caputo Manitoba 250g Water 50g Sourdough Starter (or 2g Caputo Dry Yeast) For the main dough: 250g Caputo Manitoba 8g Fine Sea Salt 4g Caputo Dry Yeast 125g water 25g Kalamata PDO Extra Virgin olive oil Method: 1. A few hours before starting this recipe, feed your starter as you usually do. 2. In your mixer add all the ingredients for the levain and mix until this forms a smooth paste. Cover the mixer bowl with cling film and leave at room temperature for at least 2 hours. You should see some bubbles beginning to form. Place the bowl in the fridge over night until ready to continue the recipe. You can also let it develop at room temperature for around 8 hours. 3. Mix the oil and water. Add all the remaining ingredients to the mixer bowl and add most of the oil and water mixture. Mix until all the dough comes together and then slowly add the remaining water, a little at a time. Always allow the liquid to be absorbed before adding more water. Increase the speed of the mixer slightly and let it mix for at least 7 minutes. 4. Transfer the dough to a well-oiled rectangular container. Oil your hands and stretch each side of the dough and fold it over itself. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. First set of folds 5. Repeat these series of stretches and folds for a minimum of 3 times. These folds make the dough stronger so it can keep all the air inside. You will feel the dough changing with each set of folds. Second set of folds Third set of folds 6. After a final rest of 30 minutes, flour your working surface and flip the dough container upside down onto the flour. The dough should drop onto the flour easily. Generously flour the surface of the dough. 7. Carefully pick up the corners of the dough and pull to give the dough a roughly rectangular shape. Be gentle with the dough as you do not want to lose the gases inside it. 8. Use your dough scraper to cut the dough into smaller rectangles. Slide your hands under these rectangles, stretch slightly and transfer onto a sheet of baking paper. Cover with a clean tea towel. 9. While the ciabatta loaves get a final proof of around 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 240C with a baking stone or a Fast Crust plate inside and a baking tray on the lowest shelf of the oven. Boil a kettle of water. 10. Using a pizza peel transfer the loaves with the baking paper onto the hot baking stone. Add some hot water to the hot baking tray in the oven. 11. Bake for 8 minutes, then open the door for a few seconds to let out the steam. Lower the temperature of the oven to 210C and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the loaves are coloured to your liking. You might need to turn the loaves around half way through the bake for a more even cook. 12. Allow the loaves to cool on a wire rack.

  • Home Baked Hot Cross Buns

    Lent and Easter time in Malta is synonymous with quite a few tasty treats and none is more so than freshly baked Hot Cross Buns. Why limit yourself to just having them at Easter time though? You can leave out the cross and they’ll make delicious fruit buns to be enjoyed all year round. Our recipe can be done either with instant dry yeast or, for the more adventurous, with sourdough starter. You can also use a bit of both to obtain the taste profile which sourdough gives combined with the ease of use of dry yeast. If using a sourdough starter, remember to feed a few hours before so that it is at its maximum activity when you come to baking. Do note that actual times of dough resting and rising will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. The spice mix also depends on your preference. Feel free to change and use your favourite spices if you wish, maybe ginger or ground cloves. Ingredients for the dough: 400g Caputo Cuoco 100g Caputo Tipo 1 100g fed, active sourdough starter or 4g Caputo Dry Yeast 50g sugar 11g salt 50g soft unsalted butter 200g whole milk 100g water 1 egg 100g sultanas previously soaked in water or in the juice of an orange Zest of an orange ½ tsp ground nutmeg ½ tsp all spice 1 tsp cinnamon For the cross: 50g flour, 50g water, pinch of sugar. For the glaze: 1 tbsp marmalade, 1 tsp hot water Method: 1. In your electric mixer, add the flours, milk, water, sugar, starter (or yeast) and mix with a flat beater until everything is fully incorporated, around 3 minutes on low speed. Dough should form a relatively stiff ball. Cover and let it rest in the mixer bowl for one hour. 2. To the dough, add the lightly beaten egg, the salt, butter, the zest of one orange and the spices. Using the dough hook, mix again for a few minutes on low speed. When everything is incorporated in the dough, increase the speed slightly and mix for another 5 minutes. The dough will still be sticky and rough. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Give the dough another brief mix for a few seconds, cover and let it rest again. After each mix and rest the dough should become smoother, stronger and less sticky. Repeat at least twice. 3. Add the drained sultanas and mix on low speed for a minute until the sultanas are incorporated into the dough. This can also be done by hand by spreading out the dough onto a workbench, sprinkling the sultanas on the dough and then folding and kneading gently until they are evenly distributed in the dough. 4. Form the dough into a tight ball (if still sticky you can dust lightly with flour), return to the bowl, cover and let it ferment for 4 to 5 hours (maybe less if using dry yeast). 5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, cut into 12 portions (around 100g each) and roll into a tight ball similar to when you form pizza dough balls. Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, keeping the dough balls around a finger apart from each other. The balls should form a 3 x 4 grid which will make it easier to pipe the crosses on them. Cover and let them proof again for 2 to 4 hours until they nearly double in size. They should be close to touching each other by this time. 6. Preheat the oven to 180C if fan assisted. Place an empty baking tray on the lowest shelf of the oven. Boil some water in a kettle. 7. To make the crosses, mix the flour, water and sugar into a paste and using a piping bag pipe a grid like form over all the buns. 8. Place the buns in the oven and carefully pour some hot water from the kettle onto the lower, empty baking tray. This should steam up your oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 9. While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze by mixing the marmalade with the hot water. When the buns are ready, take them out of the oven and while still hot, use a pastry brush to glaze the top of the buns. Let the buns cool on a wire rack. 10. Enjoy warm with a good cup of tea.

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