The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Light-hearted breadmaking!

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Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Light-hearted breadmaking!

I teach breadmaking (around 10 hours a week, ATM) – and each session only lasts two hours from start to finish. I run two sorts of sessions; one for adults with learning difficulties, where we make different breads each week; and regular 5-week courses - for parents and children in a local primary school (Family learning); and community evening classes for the general public, where the content is fairly well structured (each course has a session on loaves, rolls, pizzas, etc.)

One of my oft-repeated maxim to my students is that anything that can be made with pastry can be made using a bread dough. Another is that pretty well any sandwich can be taken back a stage, with the bread and filling cooked together – which takes it to a different level entirely.

I’m always looking for new things to try; innovative (to me, anyway!) ways to use bread dough.

So I thought I would start a thread about the different ways in which a bread dough can be used.

Here are a few breads I make with my groups on a regular basis:

Stuffed mushroom en croute. This is simply delightful made with a bread dough. I used to make it stuffed with Roquefort cheese and pesto – now I’m a vegan I use mushroom pate and pesto. But whatever the filling it’s a very tasty dish:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2011/09/stuffed-mushroom-parcels.html

Cheese, broccoli (or onion) and potato pasties. I make these for myself using nutritional yeast and flavourings instead of cheese – and I often include some curry powder in the filling. Great for using up leftovers:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2011/09/cheese-potato-and-broccoli-or-onion.html

As for taking a sandwich back a stage, what about a cheese and tomato sandwich? These wraps are the bee’s knees!

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/03/cheese-and-tomato-sizzlers-wraps.html

Instead of a jam (jelly) sandwich, try these healthy jam doughnuts:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/09/healthy-jam-doughnuts.html

Which leads me to petit pain au chocolat (chocolate rolls) – what could be simpler than these. Just squidge a bit of decent chocolate into a small piece of dough, seal it around – and that’s it!

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/08/petit-pain-au-chocolat.html

The same method can be applied to anything you want to wrap in bread. I used to make small Brie parcels (Cheddar has more flavour, IMO – but it always finds a way out, no matter how well you seal the dough). If my lad was around when I was making them, he’d tell me, “If you’re making those bread parcels, Dad, I’ll have ham, cheese and tomato in mine!”

And iced buns. At its simplest, sweetened bread rolls covered with icing when baked – but very tasty (not to mention cheap!) indeed:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/03/iced-buns.html

Pane frattau, from Sardini: One of the most far out (IME) uses for bread is to take a thin, crisp bread (musica da carta), split it and soak it in broth. Used instead of pasta in a lasagne it adds a whole new depth of flavour to the dish – and is a regular favourite of mine. It’s a bit fiddly, but, oh so worth it!

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/04/sardinian-carta-da-musica.html

All these breads can be made with a dough as rich or as simple as you wish. They could even be made using sourdough!

I would love to hear from other posters about any unusual breads they make.

Cheers, Paul

picosinge's picture
picosinge

Nothing special, just normal pain au lait dough, but had a bit of fun making bunches of grapes and other fun shape with it.  Slightly under-baked as they are to be frozen and reheated later.

RonRay's picture
RonRay
Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

“Just for fun” encapsulates my teaching philosophy! You learn more when you’re having fun, in my book! Lovely photo’s - lovely bread!

Those crackers, Ron! I read your suggestion at 1.20 this morning – and I wanted to make them right there and then!

They’re perfect for my sessions for anyone who can hold a pizza cutter.

This is an under-rated piece of bakery equipment, IMO. Far better for cutting dough than actually cutting pizzas (for which scissors are the best implement – again, IMO!), and much easier than a knife - or even a dough cutter!

I like to use them when we’re making large jam tarts – they’re just great for squaring off a circle and using the strips to edge the tart:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2011/09/portfolio-for-students.html

(Pic at the bottom of the post.)

I’ll report back about the crackers just as soon as I’ve had a go!

Thanks, Paul 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Paul,

I am glad you found the idea of interest.  I look forward to seeing your application of the idea. ;-)

Ron

spsq's picture
spsq

Funny you started this thread.

I had some baklava that had been sitting in my freezer for a few weeks - one bite every few days is all I need of something so sweet and dense.  Since they were starting to ice up, I defrosted them, chopped them up, and kneaded them into a half ww dough.  I ended up with a semi-sweet, moist walnutty loaf than is AMAZING  with blue cheese.

I think I''ll go have a slice right now!

 

Also, I once pulled the toppings off some leftover-boring-veggie-pizza-with-a-bad-crust - and put them into a bread.  Better than the pizza, but mostly a fail!

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Thanks for sharing that, spsq! Somehow the most unlikely things seem to work in bread!

I'd not really come across baklava before - in fact, I had to google it! But I'm pretty sure I can turn it into a bread - someday soon!

Actually, this sort of thing is right up my street - as I said, I love converting pastry recipes!

Cheers, Paul 

 

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Hi Ron

Finally found the time to tell you about the crackers we made last Thursday in one of my adults with learning difficulties sessions. They were a great success - the residents loved them and the supporting staff were very impressed indeed!

I've put the full story on my blog, with pics:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-daily-bread-2.html

That takes you to the 'My Daily Bread' post - which has the story (look for Thursday October 6th). Follow the links to the recipe I followed, plus pics.

Once again, thank you Ron, for the suggestion. I love discovering new breads - especially when they're infinitely variable, as this one promises to be!

Any more exciting breads out there, folks?

Cheers, Paul

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Paul,

I am glad all went well, and that the crackers were so well received.  Indeed, the crackers seems to suggest no end of variations, which should make them idea for your program's use.

Ron

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Here's a loaf I created for the recent British 'Children in need' appeal.

£10 was donated to the cause on my behalf by the organisation that requested the loaf.

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2011/11/pudsey-bear-bread.html

Cheers, Paul

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Paul - great sharing.  such innovative ideas,  and great way to contribute to society. Unfortunately,  I've been bad with my art since young,  and similarly the only art form my bread will take is round or oval or rectangle. wish I can do better than that. Give me moulds, and maybe that will work for me.   But just to share an interesting place to find bread making ideas, I'm watching this Japanese Manga (Cartoon) named Japanese Bread King - which had the most wonderful / funny way of introducing bread making concepts, and great innovative ideas.  well, if you can look into it,  I'm sure you'll get lots of brilliant ideas,  and definitely lightens the heart....

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Had some fun with fruit bread dough today, with my special needs groups, making farthing buns and fruit croissants:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-daily-bread-4.html

(The 'link' button doesn't seem to be working.)

 Then we went on to make cheese and potato pasties and parathas - turns out they're the same (or nearly), who knew?

 

Thanks, Jennyloh!

I meant to get back to you since I spent quite a while on line looking for bread in the Japanese Manga cartoons and never found any! :(

If you have a specific link, I'd appreciate it.

Regards, Paul

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Hi Paul. The Japanese Manga is called Yakitate Japan. Go to www.animeseason.com and they have it available in English I think.  The breads are incredible as they discussed all about the techniques of baking bread.  Hope you like it! 

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Sorry, Jenny, still no joy!

Now then, chocolate cake.

I know this is a serious bread making site, and I applaud its gravitas - but there has to be room for cake on a lighthearted thread, no?

I've been making this cake now for about 6 months, to universal plaudits - and I've even started including it in my Family Breadmaking course. Why? Because it's health-y (ier), because it's cheap, because it's easy - but, most of all because it is gorgeous.

It contains no eggs, no butter, no milk - and there's even a version that contains no fat! Just flour, sugar, cocoa powder, water and banana (or apple puree, but I haven't tried that yet)!

Here's the story, with recipe and pics:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2011/07/vegan-chocolate-cake-how-easy-is-this.html

Oh, and for those who are interested - it's vegan, to boot.

Enjoy!

Cheers, Paul

 

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

http://www.animecrunch.com/episodes/yakitate-japan/

Hi Paul,  try this other link.  They have all the series in there, to be watched online.  Its with English subtitles.

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

But I can't waste any more time on this. I've been on that site - called up all the subjects in alphabetical order - and mention of bread could I find - none. So I'm outa there!

Sorry.

But while I'm on here, I'd like to make a plug for bread canapes instead of pastry ones:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/12/canapes-vegan-made-with-bread-dough.html

There's a picture of some of them on the top of my blog.

You can, of course, make these with any bread dough - sourdough, no-knead, or plain old 'knocked up in a hurry' dough! :-)

Cheers, Paul

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Not to say I haven't been making fun bread recently, but I thought I'd post about these today.

I'm constantly amazed by how a few simple ingredients can produce wonderful results.

Here's a good example - a basic sweet dough (1 mug flour, 1 dessertspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon yeast and 1/3rd mug water - plus a splash of olive oil) - plus a little marzipan, 2 small slices of apple and a little sugar and cinnamon.

We made these with my special needs group this morning - and they were lush!

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/marzipan-and-apple-tartlets.html

Cheers, Paul