Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pi-Wei's Famous Chestnut Bread

The chestnut bread goes like this:

I’m giving you the small loaf version. A chestnut loaf is always smaller than one made of 100% flour. If you want to make an all flour version just replace the chestnut meal with flour as that is what I based my chestnut bread recipe on in the first place. Enjoy

1 cup chestnut meal (ie roasted chestnuts that you have zapped in a food processor to a consistency of fine bread crumbs)
1 cup plain flour
¼ tsp yeast
1tsp salt
1 cup water

Stage1: (best to do around 8pm at night)
  1. Chuck in all the dry ingredients and mix tog in a bowl big enough to allow rising
  2. Pour in the water – luke warm if you wish but doesn’t really matter
  3. Mix tog with a spoon until it forms a dough
  4. It may look a little on the wet side because of the water content of the chestnut meal so I just chuck in a handful of flour at this stage to bring it together more, but still it’s a fairly soft wet dough you have there.
  5. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 12 – 18 hours. Just depends when you have time to do the next stage.
Stage 2: (best to do in the morning)
  1. Throw some flour on the table
  2. Scrape out the sticky glutinous mass of risen dough on to it.
  3. No need to punch (that’s not nice) just fold over the dough 3-4 times and then put it back into the bowl fold side down for the second rising for another 2 hours
P.S. flour the bowl a little so the dough comes out easily.

Stage 2 ½ :
  • stick your covered container (dutch oven / camp stove / pyrex thing / whatever) in the oven 15 minutes before you want to bake the bread
Oven heat is about 200 degrees Celsius but you’ll know to adjust as you see fit with more experience

Stage 3: (best to do 2 hours after stage 2 … dah)
  1. Take your hototot vessel form the oven
  2.  Throw a little flour into the bottom
  3. Place your twice risen dough with the seam side up for rustic country effect when cooked. You may use all manner of sprankles like corn meal, bran, polenta, fresh cow manure etc for added extra rusticity.
  4. Put the hototot lid back on to your hototot vessel and put into the oven for 30 minutes
    After 30 minutes remove lid and cook for another 15 minutes to brown off more
Final stage:
  •  Remove delicious rustic country effected bread and place on tray in view of as many people as possible
  •  Do not let them eat it until it has cool for about 15 minutes – you want the crust to harden off as much as possible
I suggest you check out 2 youtube vids that will launch you into a bread making frenzy….
 no knead bread using the hototot pot
 no knead ciabata bread using just a tray

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