GUEST BLOG: Bread time

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

We had another full house on Saturday for our popular four-hour breadmaking session at Chorlton High School. On the menu today was a loaf of bread, garlic naans and focaccia. The participants were also treated to four freshly made pizzas for their lunch made by volunteer Katya and myself, another use for dough. We lathered them with our very own recipe for tomato sauce, containing apple, red onions, fresh garlic and tinned tomatoes. The toppings were olives, chestnut mushrooms, anchovies, red and yellow peppers, red chillies, ground pepper and grated cheese – delicious. There was enough for a quarter of a pizza each. The recipe is given to the participants, along with all the baked goods they make, at the end of the session. 

Rob, Cracking Good Food’s very own breadmaker extraordinaire, chatted passionately about bread throughout the session, sharing preparation tips, scientific facts, good places to buy ingredients and interesting stories. Everyone has recipe sheets to take away at the end of the session, so time could be spent enjoying the hands-on experience of making dough, rather than taking notes. These sessions are designed for working individually and also in small groups, learning together in a relaxed, sociable environment. 

To make the dough for their loaves of bread, the participants were given a choice of flours and yeast. While the dough is rising, the dough for the naans and focaccia is prepared. The temperature in the kitchen was quite tropical – perfect conditions for the dough to rise in. The focaccia dough is stretched, rolled and sprinkled with sundried tomatoes and chopped black olives, then folded into three and rolled out again. It’s then left to rise before being sprinkled with sliced red onions, rock salt and fresh rosemary  ready to bake. These look so spectacular when cooked – rustic heaven. The garlic naans are also rolled into shape and cooked in a frying pan on the stove top. It’s a lovely sight to see them bubble and go a deep golden colour and the delicious smell envelopes the kitchen space.

This was another successful session, inspiring the participants, who now have the knowledge to bake their own breads at home. A wonderful group this week, who all helped clear up and muck in – hope they come back soon, a joy in the cooking room. Thank you to Katya, our volunteer, who worked so hard to help with the smooth running of this session.
There are more photos from Saturday’s Breaking Bread class on the official CGF Facebook page here – do be sure to click “like”! 
And if you’d like to try your hand at making your own bread or improve the bread baking skills you already have, we run lots of courses, in Chorlton, Flixton and now Prestwich. See our website for more by clicking here.
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