Turkish Bread

21 Oct

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After all the bread classes I have had at school this semester, I decided that it was time to put what I have learnt into practice by making some fresh turkish bread at home. The only challenge was… I do not own a dough mixer. Hence, I would have to knead the dough by hand. I can say now – having done the kneading by hand yesterday, that it is quite a workout and at one stage, I thought that my fingers had gone arthritic. However, the end result is extremely rewarding and so I will definitely be making more bread at home.

I cooked the bread on a pizza stone and the outcome was pretty good.

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Here’s the recipe if you’re feeling like a workout.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams Baker’s Flour (or Plain Flour if you haven’t got baker’s flour)
  • 10 grams Salt
  • 3 grams Bread Improver
  • 20 grams Fresh Yeast mixed in with a little warm water (you should get a slurry)
  • 20 grams olive oil
  • 10 grams Honey
  • 300 grams Water

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients except the water in a large bowl (make sure you place the salt and the yeast at opposite ends of the bowl – yeast and salt are not the best of friends).
  2. Mix together with a wooden spoon.
  3. Slowly add the water, leaving out a little for later.
  4. Mix the ingredients together to form a ball. Add more water as you go – this is a judgment call as you may not require all the water. You just want the dough to come together into a ball.
  5. Lightly dust your workbench with some flour and place the dough on the bench.
  6. Begin kneading the dough.
  7. Do this for about 2 – 3 minutes and the rest. Cover the dough. This gives the dough a chance to rest as well.
  8. When you return to knead the dough again, you will feel that the dough has also relaxed a bit, hence making it easier to knead.
  9. Repeat this process about 5 to 6 times.
  10. To check that the dough has been kneaded enough, you need to do a window test.
  11. Pull a small ball of dough from your dough mass and stretch it out slowly with your fingers. If the dough stretches out like a membrane without breaking, it is ready.
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  13. Roll the dough into a ball and place it back in your mixing bowl.
  14. Cover with clingwrap and rest the dough in a warm place for at least 2 hours. If you can, rest it for half a day.
  15. After 2 hours, remove the dough from the mixing bowl and portion them. (I made 1 large turkish bread and 3 small rolls)
  16. Pull the dough into an elongated shape and flatten it a little (BUT NOT TOO MUCH! You want the air bubbles in your dough.)
  17. Place the dough on a flat surface and using your fingers, poke lines into the dough as seen in the picure above. Place the dough on your pizza stone / baking tray. (If using a pizza stone, heat the stone up in the oven before placing your dough on it.)
  18. Brush on some egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on the top.
  19. Place the bread in a preheated oven at 220°C for 8 min and turn head down to 180°C for another 10-12min or until the product is golden brown.
  20. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.
  21. Enjoy with your favourite dips and cheese.
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