Wondercat’s Big Baton
This weekend was time to batten down the hatches for the approach of autumn…
If we had to pick a favourite season, it would definitely be autumn! Snuggling up next to a warm fire/man-friend, the opportunity to wear/buy layers and gloves and hats and scarves…so nice.
The boys concerned themselves with sorting out autumn-winter wardrobes (Mykie disposed of 3 sack loads (erm, gross) of clothes in a vicious wardrobe edit…R.I.P. bobbly sweaters and inappropriately short shorts) and getting the house suitably nest-like. I, on the other hand, got the Wondercat Bakery to fix up a nice French baton to accompany the hearty chicken provencalé the boys were making for dinner…
Baton for hatch battening
- 425g bread flour (we used a mix of white and wholemeal)
- 225ml luke warm water or whey
- 3.5g yeast (half a packet)
- 7g salt
- bit o’ milk
- bit o’ wheat-germ
have a nice snugly warm place to leave the dough in, like an oven on super low with the door ajar, or an airing cupboard or maybe even an ample bosom(?)
- stir water into flour
- leave for 20 mins
- knead in yeast and salt for 10 mins
- cover and leave for 1 hour
- punch flat and roll into rectangle, roll up like a carpet and roll the ends to the middle
- cover and leave for 1 hour
- punch, roll, roll and roll again 😉
- cover and leave for one hour
- shape into a thick doughy rod and put on a lined baking tray
- pre-heat oven to 220ºC and stick a bowl of water in the bottom
- brush swollen baton with milk, slash with a sharp knife and sprinkle with wheat-germ
- bake for 30 mins turning half way through
- revel in the comforting joy of baking bread aroma…nose hug.
Well to share a little secret with you dear reader, we were aiming for a baguette but the dough had a really good rise in it…we all know that girth tops length anyway so happy days!
We achieved (achieved? odd choice of word but we’re going with it) a crisp, satisfying crust and a beautiful crumb that sprang back like a tempur foam mattress when poked (poke, poke,poke, etc.)…speaking of which…my Dragons Den idea…Bread Bed©!
Bread is really cheep to make, lovely and soft, smells delicious…how good would a Bread Bed© be!! Picture it, a big roll or bun with a hole ripped into it and a sleeping cave hollowed out…OMG! so damn perfect in every way! If you make it big enough it could be used as shelter/food for army folk or refugees…this could be delicious and LIFESAVING! and who doesn’t love a thing that’s a something/something else?!…we are all about the multifunction…say hello to the real reason for the girthy bread baton 😉 (kidding, ew)).
Ok, ok, I know dirty Debbie Meaden will bring up the little issue of baking giant bread and to be honest, I dunno how this would be work…but I’m just the ideas man, someone else needs to come and sort the practicalities (anyone interested in joining Bread Bed©? I’ll cut you in for 15%).
That was slightly tangential but we’re back now…
Baton=good! The extra proving stage may or may not have been necessary but we got a damn fine Bread Bed© for Barbie (branching out already, that burning smell? my brain cogs not bread BTW) out of it so if time isn’t a problem I’m on board with some extra inflating.