Ever since I have been on my bread baking course at the School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire my life has changed.
It has been fun making ciabatta and focaccia for my Mum’s 50th Birthday meal, baguettes and Épi de Blé for a meal to celebrate the birth of our first nephew Rufus, plain sourdoughs and stuffed sourdoughs to eat at home, croissants and more. Although there have been a few failures on the way (I put these down experimentation) the majority of the loaves are unrecognisable from what I could make before my bread course.
I find myself walking through the supermarket resenting having to pay what I consider a relatively high price for a product I think I could make better myself. I have not been able to buy a loaf of supermarket bread since January.
Starting a new business is difficult and puts a strain on the finances so I am not ashamed to say that since the course I have been baking bread using supermarket own brand strong white bread flour at about 60p for 1.5 kg.
I bake bread to make my wife’s sandwiches and recently she has requested bread that isn’t just white. Baking malthouse bread would probably be my favourite solution because I like the sweetness of the loaf, but the flour is not cheap so needs must.
The Spelt Rye Ciabatta
I have instead been baking a mixed flour ciabatta. The loaf has a nice taste of toasted rye and you can see the looseness of the soft, shiny crumb that is typical of the ciabatta.
Here is the recipe to make two loaves:
325g Strong White Bread Flour
100g Rye Flour
75g Spelt Flour
3g Dried Yeast
30-50ml Oil (I use Yorkshire Rapeseed but olive oil is fine)
Mix the yeast with the water until fully dissolved then mix all the rest of the ingredients (except the oil) in a bowl. Oil another large bowl with about half of the oil. Once the mixture comes together pour/scrape it into the oiled bowl. Leave to rise for an hour. Lightly oil your hands then fold the 1/3 mixture towards the centre and the other 1/3 on top (like a letter), turn the bowl 90 degrees and do the same again. Turn the folded mixture over in the bowl and pour a little oil on top. Repeat this resting and folding process 4 times, since you are using rye and spelt the dough takes a bit longer to rise so if you can extend the rise time it is worth is. Fold a final time and turn out onto a floured work surface being careful not to damage the bubbles. Split the dough in two rolling each loaf into a slipper shape ensuring a good coating of flour. Place onto a tray and into a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 10-15mins.