I have joined the world of Twitter. Still finding my way but enjoying some of the chats between my fellow food bloggers and meeting new ones. I have been following @dan_lepard who writes the "How To Bake" section in the Guardian Weekend. I also noticed that a few of my fellow bloggers were raving about his new book, Short and Sweet - ummm Vanessa, are you being paid by Dan for all the promoting you have been doing? ;-). I bought the book a few weeks ago and have been enjoying flicking through it.
It seems to be a comprehensive baking book and has obviously come out at just the right time with all the news reports of a spike in sales of baking products on the back of The Great British Bake Off. I believe Paul Hollywood's book will be coming out in about a year (yes, I follow him on Twitter too) so I hope that its release coincides with an equally popular new series of GBBO. Knowing me, I'll probably get myself a copy of that too - will be good to compare the two books.
Anyway, I have joined Short and Tweet, a weekly bake challenge using recipes from Short and Sweet (obviously). This challenge is run on Twitter by @EvidenceMatters. What a great way to get me using the book. I won't be able to do it weekly but will join in when I can. In fact, I missed the first one which was to bake Chocolate and Almond Fudge Cake but I managed to do the second and baked Olive Oil and Potato Flatbread.
I did this today. Dan says it is a focaccia-style dough and the method involves a long rising time with intermittent stretching and folding which should give you those lovely big open holes in the dough. (Remember how keen on those Paul Hollywood was in GBBO?)
Unfortunately, I just didn't have the time to follow his schedule exactly so missed out some of the rising and folding. However I still ended up with a lovely focaccia-like bread. I had some medium sized holes in my dough and the bread was quite chewy with a crispy, salty crust. I did struggle to get it out of the tin - it was a very sticky dough - and even with plenty of olive oil on the tin, it stuck a bit. I may have made the dough too sticky. I sliced it up and got on with making my soup for Random Recipes which I'll post in the next few days. This was a big mistake. I couldn't stop eating it as I worked in the kitchen so by the time I served the soup to my family, there was only about half the bread left! I suppose that shows that it was a great bread! Or maybe just that I'm a greedy pig. Steve and the boys enjoyed it too.
I might try it again some time when I feel I have the time to do the recipe properly but it won't be a bread I make very often. Will need to stick to my quicker, easier every day loaves while I have such young children. Mind you, if I was in for most of the day, it only means a minute or two of attention every half an hour or so - maybe it was just trying to get it done today to be on time for the challenge that was the problem. It certainly is a very tasty bread, though with a fantastic chewy texture and I am extremely pleased with it.