Calling all cooks!

IMG_4965It’s surprising how many of us don’t quite know the capabilities of our kitchen appliances. A quick straw poll at Roundhouse Towers isn’t perhaps the most representative but even here we are still discovering clever tricks, courtesy of Amy, our all-knowing kitchen coach.
Roundhouse kitchen coach Amy spends much of her time in client’s newly installed Roundhouse bespoke kitchens showing them how all their state-of-the-art appliances work and what they can do.
So, attention all cooks, particularly owners of Gaggenau, Miele and Siemens kitchen appliances. The yummy recipe for Walnut Bread Amy has created for us this week has particular helpful hints especially for you. However, the recipe can be cooked in any oven, so enjoy!
IMG_4953Walnut bread
450g seeded wholemeal bread flour, or strong wholemeal flour
200g strong white bread flour
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp fine salt
100g walnut pieces
1 x sachet (7g) Easy-blend dried yeast
3 tbsp walnut or olive oil
350-375ml lukewarm water
1. Preheat your warming drawer on the lowest setting (this is about 35-40°C and will help to speed up proving). You could also use a low oven or combi oven, at 35°C if you don’t have a warming drawer – this will have the same effect.
2. Combine the flours, sugar, salt and walnut pieces together in a large mixing bowl.
3. Sprinkle over the yeast evenly, then gently run your fingers through the dry ingredients to disperse the yeast throughout.
4. Now make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and pour in the oil and most of the water. Using a cutlery knife, mix the ingredients in the centre, pulling the dry ingredients in to the well to form a dough. Use your hands once the mixture is no longer too messy. You want the dough to be soft, with no dry floury patches, but not too wet either – you will have to judge whether you need all of the water as different flours absorb water differently.
5. Tip the dough ball on to a lightly oiled work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
6. Lightly oil a large bowl, and place the ball of dough inside, covering with a damp tea towel or piece of oiled cling film. Place in the warming drawer or oven for about 35-45 minutes, until the dough has nicely risen to almost double in size.
7. When this has happened, take the dough out and ‘knock back’ by lightly placing your fist into the centre of the dough and giving it a few seconds of kneading to get rid of most of the air.
8. Dust a baking tray with flour and shape your dough into an oval or a circle – this is a free-form loaf, so be creative! Dust the top with flour, then using a very sharp knife or a pair of scissors, score the top – this is where a baker would have his own ‘signature’ mark…
9. Cover the top loosely with oiled cling film so it doesn’t stick. Place back into the warming drawer or oven for a further 30-40 minutes, until the dough has risen nicely again.
10. Now preheat the oven on Fan, 200°C. Remove the cling film, and place the loaf in the oven, reducing the temperature to 180°C after ten minutes. Bake for 40-50 minutes in total, or until the bread is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
11. Enjoy freshly baked and still warm, or toasted for extra nuttiness – this is delicious with Roquefort cheese and pickled pears.
**If you have a Siemens iQ700 oven, try using the Hydrobaking function to lock in the moisture from the dough and give you a good crust. You may need to increase oven temperatures by 10-20°C, as this is not a Fan function**
**If you have a Miele oven with the Moisture Plus function, use 2 bursts of moisture and introduce one as you put the dough in, and the other 20 minutes later. Use the same oven temperatures as stated in the main recipe**
**If you have a Combination Steam oven, this is a fantastic way to bake bread:

  • For Siemens owners, select ‘Hot Air + Steam’, using the temperatures and timiings stated in the main recipe.
  • For Gaggenau owners, use Hot Air 200°C, 30% humidity for 30 minutes, using ‘misting’ a couple of times, and then reduce the temperature to 180°C and the humidity down to 0% for the remaining 15-20 minutes.
  • For Miele owners, select Combination cooking, Fan Plus, 200°C and 60% moisture for 30 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 180°C and the humidity down to 0% for the remaining 15-20 minutes.

And don’t forget – a Combination Steam oven is a great way of regenerating bread which is a few days old, by using the ‘Reheat’ or ‘Regenerate’ function**