As a chef Christmas can be a bit of a nightmare. It has been so busy that I have not really had time to blog but trust me...this one is a winner and worth the wait.
In my local branch of Waitrose I found some organic malted bread flour that had been oak smoked......I had to have it. The resulting bread had a great malty taste and a background twang of smoke. I'm really happy with how the loaf turned out and can imagine it working extremely well on a cheese board, or with some rough pâté de campagne. For 1 loaf and a sandwich for one hungry person:
Smoked bread flour - 1kg
Warm water - 700ml
Salt - 20g
Fresh Yeast 20g (or dried yeast 10g)
Quality unsmoked streaky bacon - 6 rashers
Cherry tomatoes - a handful
Maple syrup - a good drizzle
Rocket - a handful
Quality mayo - 2 tbsp
Richard Bertinet is the master Baker of the South West and I was lucky enough to work with him in his cookery school for a couple of weeks. I now always use his basic recipe for quantities of yeast and water to flour. I also use his method of kneading. Watch this to see how to do it: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/video/2010/jul/20/how-to-cook-bread
Rather than use a loaf tin, I shaped my loaf by hand after the first prove on an oven tray then baked at 250c for approx 30 mins turning occasionally until the base is crispy and sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool on a wire rack until just warm. In the meantime season your tomatoes, drizzle with maple syrup and roast in the hot oven until they colour and split their skins. Roast the bacon at the same time until crispy.
Rub your bread with the bacon fat then slather with mayo. Fill up the sarnie with rocket, bacon and the lovely tomatoes.