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:
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:
As for taking a sandwich back a stage, what about a cheese and tomato sandwich? These wraps are the bee’s knees!
Instead of a jam (jelly) sandwich, try these healthy jam doughnuts:
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!
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:
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!
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.