The second episode of the Great British Bake Off was all about bread. The bakers faced three challenges that all relied on well-behaved yeast and ovens to prevent them falling foul of Paul Hollywood’s thumb. All of the contestants seemingly handled the prospect of Paul compressing their carefully baked loaves back into dough with ease and the creativity on show was truly impressive.
In the signature challenge, the bakers had to make 48 consistent breadsticks. I absolutely loved the giant matchbox that Frances had made to house hers. In fact, after this and the sandwich shaped sandwich cake she made in week 1, I am eagerly looking forward to what she will come up in future episodes. I tried my hand at this first challenge this weekend and made a batch of 20 cheddar cheese and black pepper breadsticks. I am very proud of these even though they are uneven and wonky. I never really considered making breadsticks but there was something very satisfying about this bake.
I wasn’t sure of the best way to shape the breadsticks and ended up rolling the dough between my hands a la play dough spaghetti. This gave an uneven breadstick with lumps and bumps that would have made Paul Hollywood feel faint. However, they had a very satisfying snap and were quite morish. I would make these again but would use more cheese to give a stronger cheese flavour. I also have an idea for a sweet breadstick……..Watch this space!
1 teaspoon of fast action dried yeast was combined with 2 teaspoons of sugar in 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water and left until frothy. This was then combine with 225 g strong white bread flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 150 ml of warm water. This was mixed together and then 20 g of finely grated mature cheddar and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper were added prior to kneading for 5 minutes. The dough was left to rise for 30 min and then shaped. The shaped breadsticks were left to prove for 30 min and then baked at 150 degC for 45 min.