Zok tried a bread making class here in Hobart.
He was pretty happy with the experience, but all his breads were a bit on the low side, as in low rise, such as foccacia.
The class did a 'small loaf' but all of them came out pretty dense.
Zok and I both prefer our bread fluffy.
So the idea of making our own bread got sorted to the back of our minds, except that we only like bread from one or two bakeries in Hobart, and neither is especially convenient. Where we live in Stockholm, we tend to settle for inferior bread and the best bread can be around $10 Australian for a loaf.
Then we stayed in a lovely place on the Isle of Skye.
Well, if you read my blog, you'll know that we had to book our Scottish Highlands adventure sort of day by day as accommodation was scarce. Vegetarian food isn't especially popular- and sadly my vegetarian request got a bit lost in the mix, so the hand made bread was a delight. Zok and Clare (the bread maker) got to chatting and Zok had ordered these books by the time we got upstairs to our room.
The books are titled: Bread and Crust by Richard Bertinet
The book comes with a dvd. I am trying to talk Zok into going to one of his workshops in Bath, England. I have always wanted to go to Bath because my favorite Jane Austen book is 'Persuasion', which has pivotal moments set in Bath.
Here is his website.
I can't really express just what a difference this has made.
Zok has made very easily, wonderful bread.
Also the harder (harder as in more work) bread is well worth the effort.
Such as the Sommerset Cider Bread, which has to basically 'rise' twice, and a first ferment. Zok did a cider bread after his success with the Epi and the Fougasse.
But seriously people, the bread is amazing, like heaven, like cake.
So far Zok has done really well with the two 'pretty' breads, one is called
Epi and one is called Fougasse, both 'white' breads.
But there are so many more tasty recipes to try.
Zok is happier with flour called 'Bakers Flour' and also the local stone milled Oatlands flour. The bakers flour takes less slapping to get the bread to where it is ready to put aside to rise. The bread can still come out dense if you let the bread rise so long that it collapses back in on itself. This happened the one time Zok didn't put a timer on. The bread was fine but it was more dense, making it a 'fine' bread not a fabulous bread.
The largest difference is that the bread is not kneading but basically slapped upon marble. (Warning: this is annoying and loud and after the first time, all audience members might want to sit on the porch or take a shower for this portion).
Zok went to a store that sold marble for buildings, like counter tops, and he bought a sample cut fairly cheap.
I can not wait for Olive Bread, Sourdough, Bread bowls for both soup and for salad. I really, really want Brioche which is also featured on the dvd even though I now know how hard it is to make, and how much butter is involved.