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Artisan baking with seeds and grains at Brasserie Bread, Banksmeadow

September 12, 2011 20 comments

Bread – I LOVE bread but have never attempted to make it at home. The thought of working with yeast just frightens me. So when I received an email from Sarah Han of Brasserie Bread asking if I would like to attend the Artisan Baking with Seeds and Grains Workshop, I couldn’t help but say yes!

The Artisan baking with seeds and grains workshop is a three hour hands-on class where participants learn how to make bread – seeded loaf, shape baguettes and dinner rolls. It also includes a tour of the Brasserie Bread’s operational bakery and ends with a tasting of the various types of organic breads with complimentary wine and cheese – YUM!

Now as the name suggests Artisan Bread: it is bread that is crafted rather than mass produced. An artisan baker is ‘a craftsperson who is trained to the highest ability to mix, ferment, shape and bake a hand crafted loaf of bread’.  Matthew Brock, Brasserie Bread Training Manager taught us how to make these wonderful bread. Step by step, we started with the Multigrain Struan, described as bringing together a soaker, biga, and a selection of grains.

The recipe on how to make this tasty bread: It’s quite tedious, there are about three steps. Starting with Biga, which is a type of pre-ferment used in Italian baking. It adds complexity to the bread’s flavour and is often used in breads which need a light, open texture with holes. Made by mixing 112g of bread flour mix (40% kialla organic stone-ground wholemeal flour, 40% Manildra bakers meal and 20% organic unbleached plain flour) with 1g of fresh yeast and approximately 85g of water at 21 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together and form a dough ‘ball’. Knead for 2 minutes, then let it rest for 5 minutes then knead again for another 1 minute, then covered and refrigerate for 8 – 12 hours.

The soaker is made from 30g of bread flour mix, 85 grains consisting of soaked sunflower seeds, linseeds, boiled grains and rolled oats, 2g of river salt and 85g of milk. The other ingredients include 7g of fresh yeast (which can be purchased from your local baker), salt and agave nectar in extra virgin olive oil to impact flavour and fat.

The final dough can be made by chopping the biga into 6 small pieces and lightly dusted with flour. Combine all the ingredients together and mix for 5 minutes. The dough will become very sticky (and gooey – my least favourite part), and it is important not to add flour, and important to work the dough by hand. Rest the dough for 5 minutes, then knead again for 1 minute to strengthen the gluten before it is placed in a bowl, covered and left for 45 minutes.

Another tedious process, which I am not very good at! Once the dough is ready, ‘shape’ it into a round-ish looking ‘ball’, roll in rolled oats and dust with wholemeal flour and prove at room temperature for 45 – 60 minutes. Matthew makes it look so easy! Clearly I had trouble and my bread looked a little ‘rustic’ – to put it nicely. Using a sharp blade, slash the dough, and place into oven (preferably onto a pre-heated stone base) and start bake at 220C, inject steam for 2 – 3 seconds, and reduce heat to 18C and finish baking for 40 – 50 minutes for at least 1 hour.

The SECOND part of the workshop involves making multigrain bread rolls, baguette a l’ancienne and pain d’epi. Unfortunately I didn’t take step by step photos as my hands were a tad dirty, but it was definitely fun! My baguettes were again ‘rustic’ looking but surprisingly it turned out ok and was quite tasty!

Whilst the bread were baking, we were taken on a tour of a bakery whilst it is in full operation.

The bread…. it smelt so divine, I was so tempted to grab them and eat it on the spot.

After all our hard work of baking, we were treated with some degustation of different types of Brasserie Bread with a selection of cheese, pepe saya butter and taramasalata.

So many bread, I was in heaven! Will definitely come back to pick up a loaf or two.

Before leaving, I did buy some pastries – croissants, snail and my favourite the fruit pastry – seriously sinful, but seriously good!

I have yet to dine at the cafe, but will not hesitate to go back!

Thanks again Sarah and Brasserie Bread for the experience. We got the recipe to make the bread, and no doubt I will try and make it soon. The family definitely enjoyed it – who doesn’t love bread right?

Full course details can be found on Brasserie Bread website.

Braisserie Bread

1737 Botany Rd

Banksmeadow 2019

Ph: 1300 966 845

Brasserie Bread on Urbanspoon

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Blog’s 1st Anniversary.

Time flies when you are having fun. It’s been a year since I started this blog. I toyed with the idea for such a long time but thanks to two lovely friends for encouraging me to start. I have met some wonderful friends in Hong Kong, and how can I forget my dearest SK – you know who you are and others who doesn’t have a foodblog but enjoy eating as much as I do.

I would also like to say a special THANK YOU to my dear soccer friend, P, who came up with the name of this blog. It was too catchy and unique for me not to take it! THANK YOU!

I have eaten at some unforgettable places and some not so memorable places. Have met some wonderful long life friends through food blogging. Have discovered the meaning of food, its culture, the efforts behind it. Have gained a few kgs, a little rounder, a little fatter and increasing cholesterol level which I may have to do something about soon.

Thanks for all your support yo. I know how painful it can be when dining with me – no one is allowed to touch their plates until I have taken a zillion photos! I have always wanted to share my experiences of food with others. I know we all have different palates, and what I love may not be for everyone. However, I still do enjoy sharing them with you.

Many thanks for the laughter, the tears of joy, the good times, and here’s to many more delicious goodness we are about to consume!

Thought to ‘celebrate’ I would make some scones, as I have been craving them and nothing beats fresh-from-the-oven scones!

Basic Scones (from women’s weekly ‘bake’ book)

Preparation time: 20 mins, cooking time 25 times, makes 20.

4 cups (600g) self raising flour

2 tablespoons icing sugar

60 g butter, chopped coarsey

1.5 cups (375ml) milk

¾ cup (180ml) water, approximately

  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees fan-forced. Grease 20cm x 30 cm lamington pan
  • Sift flour and sugar into large bowl, rub in butter with fingerprints
  • Make a wel in centre of flour mixture, add milk and almost all the water. Use knife to ‘cut’ the milk and water through the flour mixture, mixing to a soft, sticky dough. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth
  • Press dough out to 2cm thickness. I used a star shapped cutter to make these. Cut as many as you can from piece of dough. Place scones, side by side, just touching in pan.
  • Gently knead scraps of dough together, repeat pressing and cutting of dough, place in same pan.
  • Brush tops with a little extra milk
  • Bake scones about 15 minutes or until browned and scones sound hollow when tapped firmly on the top with fingers.
  • Served with jam and cream

 

Homemade vanilla almond biscotti

One of my favourite types of cookies – biscotti, almond biscotti. I used to order these in cafés for dessert or in the afternoon when I needed a snack with my coffee. My cousin chef told me how ‘easy’ it was to make it and gave me the recipe below. I am not 100% sure where she got it from or if it is one of her creations but I can say that it is GOOD! I have made almond biscotti many times now, and it is relatively easy, the only ‘consuming’ part is baking it twice but it is seriously worth it!

I was a little reluctant in posting this, feeling a little ‘amateur-ish’ after watching Junior MasterChef! At 12, all I cared about was playing with my friends, eat and play with my friends and that’s pretty much it! I wouldn’t even know what truffles look like, yet alone cook with them! How times have changed.

Anyway, back to my almond biscotti, very ‘amateur-ish’ but it is definitely tasty!

Vanilla almond biscotti ingredients:

2 cups of plain flour

1½ tsp baking powder

¾ cups sugar (reduced if you don’t want it too sweet)

¾ cups whole almonds

3 eggs

2½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven 160 degrees

Place flour, baking powder, sugar and almonds in bowl

Whisk eggs until fluffy, then add vanilla extract. Mix well and add to dry mixture, fold to form sticky dough. Mixture should be sticky and wet and resemble batter rather than dough

Butter a baking bread pan, so it won’t be sticky and place mixture in

Put in oven and bake for 35 minutes

Remove from oven and let it cool, I left it for a good 30 – 40 minutes

With a sharp knife, slice into tiny pieces – how thick you want the slices to be is up to you, I quite like mine relatively thin

Bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until slightly brown and voila

Crisp, not too sweet, twice-baked cookie. Gave half to my brother, F, and his response was ‘is that all?’ Promise to make you more next week! It’s great for a snack and can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea, or simple eat it on its own. I can’t stop snacking on these now!