PUBLISHED: 11:27 06 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:27 06 February 2014
There is something very satisfying about making bread. So to start the New Year I have enlisted the help of baker Steven Winter to create the perfect loaf to accompany my winter minestrone soup.
Bread Source was set up in 2012 by Steven and his wife Hannah, and is a market bakery, a wholesale bakery and now with a new shop in Aylsham, a town bakery. It is slow food at its best, using just flour, salt, yeast and water - it’s where great baking begins.
Steven started baking while still at school as a Saturday boy at a Norwich bakery, before attending City College Norwich on an apprenticeship. He has managed bakeries from large scale production to small village craft enterprises. After meeting his Australian wife while working at one of these bakeries they went to live in Perth, Western Australia, where Steven met Jonas, the baker manager’s son who later became his apprentice and who is now bakery production manager and is responsible for all breads and pastries.
Steven and Jonas’ six tips for bread making
1 You don’t need lots of expensive equipment, but do spend as much money as you can afford on a decent set of scales.
2 Always get your ingredients and equipment ready before you start (in the trade we call it “mise en place”).
3 Never weigh your yeast and salt together as the salt will start killing the yeast.
4 Always add a bit more water than you think - never go too dry.
5 Be gentle with the dough; work with it not against it.
6 If you are unsure when the bread is ready, put it back for another five minutes - so long as it’s not black, you’re ok!
Wholemeal spelt recipe
Spelt is an ancient relative of modern wheat; the spelt grain was widely grown by the Romans. Spelt flour is ideal for speciality pastry, yeast cookery and breadmaking, and is flour that some with wheat intolerances find they can happily eat.
The night before mash (soak) 150g spelt flour, 225 boiling water and 8g salt.
In a bowl weigh the flour and salt, pour the boiling water over and mix thoroughly.
250g spelt flour
50g warm water
5g fresh yeast or 1/2 sachet instant yeast
1 Mix the soaked mash from the night before with the final mix ingredients to combine. Knead for five mins, rest for 10 mins, knead for another five until dough feels nice and strong, and place back in bowl.
2 Leave covered in bowl for 45 minutes until well risen. Gently knock back and leave for another 30 mins. Shape dough into a round loaf and place on oven tray, or shape and place into bread tin and cover.
3 Heat oven to 220°C/gas mark six. When dough has risen (45 minutes to an hour) flour and slash/cut top, then place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until dark in colour and sounding hollow when tapped on the base.
Winter minestrone soup
3 banana shallots
1 large leek
120g smoked streaky bacon, finely diced
Half a small swede
2 carrots, peeled
4 sticks celery
Handful of chopped parsley
1tsp chopped dried tarragon
1-2 chillies, deseeded and very finely chopped
1 x tin chopped tomatoes
250ml white wine
1½ litres good chicken or vegetable stock
120g spaghetti, broken into small pieces
1 small cabbage, finely shredded
Oil, salt and freshly ground pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
If you have the left-over rind of a piece of Parmesan cheese add it to the soup while it cooks, it adds a lovely richness to the flavour.
1 All the ingredients should be finely chopped to a similar size.
2 In a large pan sauté the shallots, leek, swede, carrots and parsnips with the bacon pieces for a good five minutes in a little oil, then add the chilli and cook for a further three minutes, stirring so the vegetables don’t catch.
3 Pour in the wine and bring the pan to the boil, and then add the tomatoes, sugar, parsley and stock. Bring the soup to the boil again, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
4 Add the spaghetti and cook for a further five minutes, then toss in the cabbage. Taste and season with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.