A few weeks ago my friend Erica bagged me an invite to the Staub/Zwilling press event in Tower Bridge, you can read her write up for the event here and see some of my own photos below. The evening included a couple of demos from leading chefs including Jeremy Pang (from School of Wok, read about my visit here) and Tom Kerridge of multiple restaurant fame. While the temperature inside Tower Bridge was enough to make me lose about 5,000lbs the evening was great fun and getting to see the pieces in action was a great opportunity.
After the event we were each asked which products we’d be keen to review. I’d been looking for a new Cocotte for a while and the opportunity to get one of such a high quality was one I couldn’t pass up. I opted for this one. I’ve been wanting to make some fried chicken for ages (with a recipe my friend sent me) and since getting this pot I’ve now ordered a thermometer which should be arriving soon, so watch this space. In the meantime my workmate Tiffanni who is a trained baker (her dad has recently set up and opened his own bakery) was talking about a few recipes she has for no knead bread which you can bake inside a pot like this.
This bread is very hands off. No, it is not quick in the slightest due to raising and proving time (increased due to the lack of kneading), but your contact time is basically just a few short minutes. It’s as simple as mix, leave, form into boule, leave, bake. Sounds pretty simple right? I opted for a wholemeal loaf as I don’t bake bread as often as I’d like, so wanted to get the basic recipe down before I started doing anything more fancy. This is a great base recipe and you can easily substitute the wholemeal out for strong white bread flour. Remember, you do not want very much yeast and you want to make sure the yeast is kept as separate as possible from the salt to avoid killing it. Also, make sure the pan is oiled to an OK level where the bread will come out easily (as my pan was new it didn’t have the natural oiliness it would pick up from regular use).
- 400g Wholemeal flour
- 8g Salt
- 1g Yeast
- 300ml Water
- **Day 1**
- Mix all the ingredients together until they have combined. Be careful not to mix the salt and yeast directly together.
- Lightly oil a bowl and place the mixture into the bottom of the bowl. Cover with cling film to stop the top drying out and leave to bulk ferment at an ambient temperature for 12-18 hours.
- **Day 2**
- Tip out onto a surface which has been well dusted with rye flour. Gently shape into a boule with a seam on one side.
- Lightly oil the pot with vegetable oil or similar and gently plop the bread in, seam down.
- Leave to prove for 1-2 hours with the lid on until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C fan assisted.
- It will be ready to bake if you poke it and it bounces back half way (which means there is some "bounce" left in the gluten).
- Place in the center of the preheated oven and immediately drop the temperature to 220°C. Bake for 30-40 mintutes until done. (You can tell as it'll be hollow when tapped on the bottom or a thermometer will read 93°C when poked into the center of the bread).