Bread week is always exciting with expectations of under-proving, interesting flavour combos and everybody keeping their loaves in the oven until the very last minute. Last night we saw lots of chocolate loaves, some very strange ‘Dampfnudel’ and finally, some tangled showstoppers.
The signature challenge kicked off bread week with the contestants being asked to make a loaf containing some sort of chocolate. Candice got an early warning look off Paul from the amount of butter going in her dough, which she should have taken notice of as her loaf seemed to collapse as it came out of the tin for judging. Tom decided to spice things up by adding chilli to his chocolate loaf which the judges really liked. Michael, who had the same idea, added way too much blowing the judges heads off. Everyone managed to produce something chocolatey but many of the bakes were under done which Paul was quick pick up on.
The technical challenge was certainly that, a challenge. Paul had decided to present a recipe for ‘Dampfnudel‘, a sort of German steamed bun served with plum sauce and vanilla custard. The judges were looking for nicely domed buns with slightly caramelised bottoms. Everyones seemed to be slightly different, and poor Ravi came in last place with his buns still being completely raw. Andrew pinched 2nd place with his being slightly over cooked but nearly there and Val got the top spot with her’s having a nice shape, great taste and lovely sauces.
Coming into the last round, as always, there was still all to play for. For the showstopper, the bakers were requested to used 3 different flours to create their doughs which then needed to be plaited to create a centre piece. Tom decided to experiment with his flavours again using seaweed but the judges seemed to like this. Michaels was described as a mess and folded over rather then being plaited and Ravi managed to revive himself with his tasting lovely.
It was a tough call who would grab that top spot as star baker but it was award to a very surprised Tom. Unfortunately, Michael was this weeks contestant to depart the tent of dreams.
Next week already looks exciting with a brand new theme being introduced…batter week. The contestants will be challenged with Yorkshire puddings, pancakes and churros, so make sure you get the snacks in as were sure it’ll make you hungry.
We’ve been inspired by the signature challenge this week and so have made an easy chocolate and cherry loaf for you to have a go at. There are 2 rises with this dough, but apart from that its very minimal effort.
Chocolate and Cherry Loaf
Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)
500g strong white bread flour
7g dried yeast
1 tsp sea salt
30ml olive oil
200g glacier cherries, washed, dried and halved
100g white chocolate, chopped
100g dark chocolate, chopped
Put the flour into a large bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt and oil to the other. Pour in 320ml of warm water and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until springy and soft. Add in the cherries and then the chocolate a little at a time, using more flour if the dough becomes too wet. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place somewhere warm for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Flour a work surface and tip your dough onto it. Cut it in half and shape your 2 halves into long sausages. Wrap the 2 sausages together making a long twirl, tucking any loose ends under the loaf. Place this on a lightly floured baking tray. Put the tray into a large plastic bag and leave somewhere warm to rise again for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan and bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 200C/180C fan and continuing cooking for another 25 minutes (if the loaf looks like its browning too quickly, place a sheet of tinfoil on top). Cool on a wire rack before serving.
If you’ve loved making our loaf, why not check out our big brother Dough Box. Just like Bakes, Dough Box is a monthly subscription kit, but for baking bread!
We love to see your bakes so share them with us on Instagram using @bakesbox or #bakesbox.