EPISODE TWO: BREAD WEEK
SIGNATURE CHALLENGE: Flatbreads
(tortillas, naan, etc. 6 yeasted, 6 non-yeasted, 2-½ hours)
James: Tomato Garlic and Parm flatbreads, and Tattie Scones (using Shetland sourdough starter/wild yeast, which was started on Islay with brewer’s yeast and is 8 years old. He’s slapping his dough on the counter)
- A potato scone or tattie scone is a regional variant of the savoury griddle scone which is especially popular in Scotland. Many variations of the recipe exist. They generally include liberal quantities of boiled potatoes, butter and salt.
- The documentary on Scotch that Libby and Duke watched is available on Amazon Prime here.
Victoria: Coriander and Lemon naan, and Garlic, parsnip and black cardamom chapatis. (says she doesn’t bake bread)
- Chapati, also known as roti, safati, shabaati, phulka and roshi, is an unleavened flatbread originating from the Indian subcontinent and staple in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, East Africa and the Caribbean
- Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant.
- In the case of green cardamom, both the pod and the seeds are used for flavouring. When it comes to black cardamom, only the seeds are used and the pods are discarded. The green cardamom has a very strong and intense aroma and flavour, while the black cardamom has a smoky and vaguely camphor-like flavour.
John: Coriander and Chili rotis, and Garlic and Pomegranate pitas topped with potato. (using yogurt and ras el hanout in the rotis)
- Ras el hanout mixture usually consists of over a dozen spices, in different proportions. Commonly used ingredients include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric.
Peter: Fennel and Nigella Seed naan and Bannock Bread (says he’s a “bread novice”, has a hot pink framed old photo of Mel and Sue on his baking station.)
- Also known as black cumin, nigella or by its scientific name Nigella sativa, kalonji belongs to the buttercup family of flowering plants. It grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and produces a fruit with seeds that are used as a flavorful spice in many cuisines.
- Bannock is a variety of flat quick bread or any large, round article baked or cooked from grain. A bannock is usually cut into sections before serving
Stuart: Bombay bread and chorizo and spring onion naan (Says his bread is supposed to taste like bombay mix.)
- Bombay mix or Chiwda is an Indian snack mix which consists of a variable mixture of spicy dried ingredients, such as fried lentils, peanuts, chickpea flour ghatia, corn, vegetable oil, chickpeas, flaked rice, fried onion and curry leaves
Cathryn: Spiced Mango naan and chili, lime and coriander tortilla-type bread
- Taijin. That’s the word we were looking for.
Sarah Jane: Toasted Coconut & Lime rotis and oat cakes. (oat cake has pale ale in it, she pours out the batter like a pancake into a greased pan)
Manisha: Indian flatbreads with garlic, Italian flatbreads with sundried tomato and cheese (using her mom’s recipe, the Italian ones stuck to the cookie sheet)
Brendan: Middle Eastern Taboon Bread and Indian Roti (says he’s been on a journey for 2 years to make all the breads of the world, is cooking on rocks in the oven)
- Taboon bread or laffa is a Levantine flatbread. It is traditionally baked in a taboon oven or a tannur, and is similar to the various tandoor breads found in many parts of Asia. It is used as a base or wrap in many cuisines, and eaten with different accompaniments.
Danny: Lime, Coriander and Coconut Tortillas and Za’atar Naan with Dukkah (using kamut flour, stone ground from Kamut® khorasan wheat, an ancient relative of modern common wheat.)
- Za’atar is a culinary herb or family of herbs. It is also the name of a spice mixture that includes the herb along with toasted sesame seeds, dried sumac, often salt, as well as other spices.
- Duqqa, du’ah, do’a, or dukkah is an Egyptian and Middle Eastern condiment consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts, and spices. It is typically used as a dip with bread or fresh vegetables for an hors d’œuvre.
Ryan: Shanghai paratha (spring onion flatbread) and garlic and coriander naan (using a torch to simulate the flames needed for his bread)
- A paratha is a flatbread native to the Indian subcontinent, prevalent throughout the modern-day nations of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Myanmar, where wheat is the traditional staple. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words parat and atta, which literally means layers of cooked dough.
James: flatbread first, Mary says they have a nice texture and she likes the crunchy cheese on the sides but wants more seasoning. She likes the look of the tattie scones, but thinks it’s a strange consistency. Paul says they needed longer in the oven, Mary counters with her comment it’s a lovely flavor, and totally different.
Victoria: Paul tried the naan first, says the flavor is okay but it’s quite bland. Chapatis, he says the color isn’t bad but it’s underseasoned.
Peter: Mary says his naan is too salty, Paul says he should have used half the salt. Nothing on his second bread.
John: Pitas first, Mary says they’re tasty and Paul says he should not have salted the tops. For the rotis, Mary thinks they are fiery and Paul says he likes them and there was a good combination of flavors for both.
Manisha: Mary says they look inviting with the nice color, Paul says he loves the structure and the garlic, says they’re really tasty.
Danny: Mary says they’re nice and thin, Paul says they’re very nice, and he adores the lime flavor. Mary counters with the fact they’re a little overbaked but have a lovely texture inside.
Stuart: Paul says the chorizo on his naan isn’t coming through, and every bite should contain a bit of each ingredient. Then he says the bake is good, and Mary says they’re nice and moist.
Ryan: Paul says “I think you’ve done it, really nice!” Mary likes the texture, says “moist” again. Paul says he should have torched them more because it won’t bake the naan.
Brendan: Paul likes the structure and the flavor of the bread, and the roti has a great flavor, and it’s balanced well with a good color and texture. Mary says it’s full of flavor.
Cathryn: Paul loves the spiced mango, as does Mary, who says it’s got an unusual flavor. They say it’s obvious she put thought into her flavors and it works.
Sarah-Jane: Paul likes the oatcakes, enjoys that she put out a pint for him. Mary says the beer flavor is very strong.
TECHNICAL CHALLENGE: Eight-Strand Plaited Loaf
(The “Rapunzel challenge”, Paul’s recipe in 2 hours)
- Paul says he’s looking for an even braid, and crispy on the outside, soft inside.
- Starts with a simple bread mix of strong bread flour, water, yeast and salt
- Because of the plaiting and strong bread flour, it is tougher to rise and takes longer to knead to get soft and fluffy
- They gave a “pattern” to follow, but the instructions say: “ao52u3o8”
- Proving “proves” the yeast is working
- John, James and Brendan all are more-experienced bread makers
- Bread has to be egg-washed before the oven to give it a crisp shine
- Stuart threw a chunk of his bread dough on the floor and had to start over.
- Sarah Jane says she can’t even braid her kid’s hair
- Stuart used his floor dough to practice his plait
- Cathryn uses my new favorite non-swear word phrase: “Oh, my giddy aunt.”
- Ryan: not too bad, says paul, but it was “ruined at the bottom” (got stuck to the pan). Paul says it tastes okay, Mary says it has a good flavor.
- Brendan: Mary says that one end got a bit large, but it has a nice crust.
- Sarah Jane: Paul takes shots at her braiding, Mary tries to be nice about it. There’s a tiny hole on the bottom too.
- James: Paul says “not bad at all”, and that he’s quite impressed. Mary says it has a good crust, and good flavor.
- Manisha: Paul says it needed more baking, and there wasn’t really a crust.
- Danny: Mary says the plait is “unusual” but that she got it right down the middle. Paul says both ends are a little wonky but the middle is okay. He says there was too much flour used in the rolling out.
- Peter: Mary tries to make Paul say something nice about this one, saying there’s a nice glaze on it, but it’s raw dough in the middle and saying the plait is a disaster would “be a humiliation to disasters.” Mary says it’s “informal” and not quite what they’re looking for. Paul says it’s barely baked.
- Victoria: Paul says not bad, kind of uniform shape, okay in the middle and tastes okay.
- Cathryn: Paul says it looks like it hasn’t been kneaded long enough, because it’s breaking up. Very dense inside, Paul says it’s bordering on raw and Mary says it’s underdone. Paul ends by saying it tastes okay.
- Stuart: Paul opens with “oh dear” as he turns it over and notices how ripped up it is because it got stuck to the tray, and it’s raw inside.
- John: Paul says it’s near perfect, nice color, but there’s a bit of folding underneath. Likes the crust, and so does Mary. Paul says it’s the best-looking one.
11 – Peter
10 – Sarah Jane (pointed out he noticed it got stuck to the tray)
9 – Stuart
8 – Cathryn
7 – Victoria
6 – Manisha
5 – Ryan (says it’s a little underbaked)
4 – Brendan
3 – Danny
2 – James
1 – John
SHOWSTOPPER ROUND: Bagels
(12 savory, 12 sweet. Strangely didn’t say how long they have to do so? Later mentioned they have 4 hours)
- Bagels are poached before they go into the oven to give them a chewy texture, creating the crust. If you boil them too long, the crust is too thick and chewy. Under-boiled allows a rise which creates bread rolls, not bagels.
- Shaping is interesting – some rolling out and pinching ends, some working a hole into a ball of dough (Sarah Jane tried to make a hole with the end of the spoon after baking)
James: Orange, Mint and Chocolate and “Millers” Sourdough (sourdough bagel has no yeast, will take a long time to rise. Twisting together bagel)
Ryan: Cinnamon & Date, and Tarragon and Rosemary (soaked the dates overnight, and got too much liquid. That dough is very sticky and soft, isn’t boiling horribly well.)
Brendan: Chocolate & Vanilla, and Cumin & Gruyere (twisted two doughs together for the chocolate one)
John: Fig, Walnut & Gruyere, and Blueberry and White Chocolate (forming from ball)
____(not shown during baking segment)__________
Victoria: Saffron & Golden Raisin and Porcini
Peter: Rosemary & Sea Salt and Apple Cinnamon
Stuart: Cinnamon Cranberry and Tomato & Thyme
Victoria: Mary says the porcini flavor is coming through, Paul says the shape is a bit flat but that taste and texture is okay. For the saffron, Mary likes the flavor and Paul says the shape is better.
Peter: Paul says they are more like bread rolls than bagels, that they’re overbaked. MAry says the texture is very close and has a hard crust.
Stuart: Paul says the tomato is over-proofed because they’re breadlike and flat, that he’s lost the shape. Mary says the cinnamon isn’t coming through, but she’s getting a lot of cranberry, Paul says that’s over proofed as well.
Brendan: Mary likes the appearance of both, says they look all matching. Paul likes the cumin and gruyere, but says the sweet one is more of a bread ring. Mary says the sweet is different, but that she’s not sure if she likes it because it isn’t sweet enough. Paul says that he needs to think that sweet idea through a little more because the chocolate is so bitter.
Ryan: Paul says the soft dough on the date was problematic and concertinaed up into a flatbread, but that he likes the flavors. Mary likes the flavors too, but says it’s not really a bagel. Paul chimes in with “it’s a new bread you’ve invented: a FLAGEL.”
John: Mary likes the crunch of the walnuts and cheese. Paul is enamored with the chocolate on top of the sweet bagel, but asks if John put sugar in it. John says he used honey and Paul counters with “It’s overbaked then”. Mary says the flavors are lovely.
James: Paul is impressed he used a starter in four hours, Mary says the flavor is interesting. Paul takes a REALLY LONG TIME before he says “yeah, well done.” Paul says the orange is over baked, and Mary says there’s a LOT of orange but she likes it, mentions the mint is lost.
Not sure why they didn’t show the others? Nothing about Cathryn, Manisha, Sarah Jane, or Danny.
Going into elimination, John and James are at the top with Brendan, Peter and Stuart at the bottom with Victoria.
Star Baker: John