It does not take much to get me excited about breads. A browse through the old cookbooks, latest blogger friend’s gorgeous tartine, and sometimes just a simple pantry cleaning means I re-discover the jars of neatly labelled flours waiting to be transformed into gorgeous loaves. You can tell that I am not a carb-fiend, but most of my bread baking these days are really out of necessity and a call to have healthier options for my family’s meals.
Breads without preservatives, and who would think that artisanal breads with that rustic slashy tops are achievable in our humble home oven? My recent bread-love is Bloomer, the simple white loaf that makes us go ga-ga over grilled cheese sarnies for brunch.
Using only basic ingredients and two hours at hand, a quick bloomer was ready for brunch recently. No sourdough starter and this time no fancy schmancy ingredients. Just some bread flour, olive oil, sugar, salt and very good instant yeast, I was all ready to do the slash-slash-slash for that rustic looking top.
After few not so good attempts on slashing the baguette I was more anxious than usual. This time, the dough was shaped into a typical bloomer shape before I doused the top with sprinkles of water and dusting of flour. A very sharp knife was all it took for those slashed top.
There is nothing special to Bloomer as compared to a normal white loaf, except in the shape and how it ‘blooms’ in the oven. This is a British pride just like baguettes to French, but if you ask me I love them both equally the same. Whilst I love baguette for my soups, I reserve bloomers for my quick lunches-open top tartines, pressed down paninis or simple slather of PB&J for the kiddo.
So if you are inspired, come back again as my next post will be on one of those Bloomer sandwich ideas
500g bread flour
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt ( 10g)
2 tsp instant yeast ( 9g)
around 300mls water
1. Mix all the ingredients and add water gradually to form soft dough, either using hand kneading or stand mixer with hook attachment.
2. Oil your hands and knead the dough briefly. Leave to rise in greased bowl until triples in size.
3. Punch down the air gently and make a rectangle shape.
4. Fold the edges like envelope, and roll the dough with edges at the bottom.
5. Sprinkle top with water and dust with flour. Make few deep slashes diagonally with very sharp knife in single motion.
6. Leave to rise again for 30-45 mins and preheat the oven and pizza stone at 220C.
7. If using two racks in oven, fill the tray below with water to create steam whilst baking.
8.Transfer bread to bake on pizza stone for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 200C and continue for another 10 to 15 minutes until top is golden.