Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Bread...

Hello folks... what's up for today? Hmm... let's talk about BREAD? Guess all of you must be staring at me strangely. Why Bread? Ahem... According to the ever-brilliant Wikipedia, Bread is considered one of the oldest food as it has existed well before 30,000 years ago in Europe. Bread is usually made from wheat-flour dough (with salt and water) through the fermentation of natural yeast, allowed to rise and bake in the oven. Moreover, it is one of the Food Monster's favourite staples of all time. It is the bizarre texture of the breads that has built up my curiosity on this flour dough. Although I always like to eat this staple food but yet I haven't got the chance to put my hands down and work with the doughs.

German Dark Rye Bread


In the Academy, I've got the chance to make my very first breads on my own!! Chef Niklesh was our mentor for this yeast puffing session. Chef has even told us that we gotta use our bare hands to FEEL the right fold of the bread dough to determine whether it is ready to bake in the oven. He makes sure all of us are using the right technique to roll the bread doughs in order to avoid any irregular shapes.

Bread dough kneading technique



















As illustrated in the figure above, for small soft/hard rolls, we can use our whole palm to roll the bread dough until it comes out with the smooth surface. Whereas, for bigger soft/hard rolls, we have to use both hands to knead the doughs with extra strength onto it.

Hard breads - Note the air holes in the breads







A closer look of the tight air holes














A varieties of Hard Breads 
Cuts on the bread dough for patterns















Apart from Soft/Hard breads, we have got the chance to make our own Focaccia breads! Focaccia is actually a type of Italian bread and is widely famous throughout the high-heeled boot like nation. Focaccia dough is similar to the texture of pizza dough, using high-gluten flour, water, oil, salt and starter. A starter or poolish consists of wheat flour, water and yeast which acts as pre-ferment to prolong the fermentation in bread making process. It is able to improve the lifespan and storage of the baked bread, and it creates greater complexities of flavour.

Plain Focaccia Dough - Full of yeast activity


























A wide spread of varieties of Focaccia breads can be found in Italy. They vary by regions and cities as different types of toppings, herbs and ingredients are used to create the uniqueness of their own focaccia breads.   

Focaccia with Tarragon herbs - Must handle with "Care"


















Look! This is gotta be Crispy, Crunchy and Tasty!
















From top: Tarragon Focaccia, Italian Herbs Focaccia and Olive Focaccia with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They are just simply gorgeous!! Chef Niklesh was there to assist all the students with the knowledge and techniques of bread making and he demanded us to make another batch of all the breads in order to master the basics of the whole bread making process. We ended up having two huge batches of flour products and part of them have been arranged for charity donation!
































Viola~ Here's the whole batch of different breads that we have made... Thanks to the patience and perseverance of Chef N to guide us through the whole 2-days sessions. It was really an inspiring class for the Food Monster, or rather Flour Monster! Don't be jealous as we get to bring all the flour products to savour them ourselves... Put in the toast with fruit conserves or even just eat it plain, it is just like being in heaven! You can have it too, only by private request ;)

Before ending this post, I would like to thank both CheeHung, JZ and Ernie for your generosity to allow me to bunk in your lovely nests in Melbourne and Brissy during my recent trip to the Down Under! Thanks all of you for making this trip a special one and I am looking forward to see you guys soon... Till then, have a great life eating BREADS!

The cheeky Jenny and sweety Chermaine


The Brissy Three Musketeers@
Sirromet Winery, Mt. Cotton, Brisbane


So, dear all... Do you like bread? Or is there any particular type of breads that you adore? Please do share it here ^^

Love,
Kev XOX

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