I can say this is probably my first fully successful bread recipe, ever. And while I think about it, I’ve come to realize a lot depends on the kind of yeast you use.
Mum’s best friend’s daughter is doing her PhD in posh things in Physics at Oxford. And while the said daughter and I used to be best friends when we were 8, we can’t care enough to be in touch any more. But she *did* send my mum packets of Hovis yeast and Sainsbury yeast, the last the last time her mum visited her. Another one of mum’s friend’s has sons married, settled, working in the United States of America and when she went to visit them, she came back with some Fleischmann yeast. Sometimes, I wonder whether my move back in the spirit of starting afresh and finding true happiness was every a wise move at all. It may have been the right move, if we’re arguing happiness and such unimpressive things. But materialism, sometimes, I wonder what I could’ve had, had I just stuck around and tried to fit in. Now that the whining’s out of the way, we can get back to the yeast.
I baked this flatbread back in July and have since tried several bread recipes. I’ve been fairly pleased with most, except this one pullapart bread, for which I used Fleischmann’s yeast. Hovis and Sainsbury have never disappointed. And Hovis is still the better of the two. For this one, I used Hovis.
I used this recipe for the bread.
For the bread:
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/4 cup water, warm
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons honey
1 cups all purpose flour
1 cups wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon gluten
For the topping:
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 packed cups of oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
Brie, I used the entire little wheel I had, you can use as much as you like
A dash of vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt, to taste
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Unsalted butter, to cook
For the dough:
1. Warm the water, add the yeast and the sugar and let it rest for about 10 minutes, until the yeast cultivates.
2. In a large bowl, sift the all purpose flour, the wheat flour and the gluten, to form a homogeneous mixture.
3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, the oil, the honey and the salt.
4. To this, add a half cup of the flour mixture, and mix well.
5. Now add the melted butter thoroughly. Add another half cup of flour and continue to mix.
6. At this point, add the yeast mixture, along with the third half cup of flour and mix well.
7. Finally, add the last half cup of flour and knead it well.
8. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few more minutes. The dough should be moist, but not sticky. Add a little more flour (of your choice), by the tablespoon, if required.
9. Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it right for an hour or two until the dough has doubled in size.
For the topping:
1. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a heavy skillet and add the sliced onions to it.
2. Saute the onions for a few minutes until they begin to turn golden brown.
3. Add a tablespoon of sugar and stir well, so that the onions begin to caramelize.
4. If the onions don’t seem to take on a dark brown colour by now (remember, the brown is from them being caramelized and not them being burnt), add just a splash of vinegar to aid the process.
1. In another pan, melt a tablespoon of butter. Throw in the mushrooms with some salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms have released all their water, have cooked through and have shrunken considerably.
Assembling the flatbread:
1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190ºC).
2. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 10 inches by 12 inches.
3. Press it with your fingers, everywhere except the edges, so that the topping sits in a hollowed out space.
4. Liberally layer the mushrooms and the onions.
5. Then stick in the pieces of cheese and sprinkle some rosemary.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
The bread turned out amazingly fluffy and light and the topping on top was to die for, even if I may say so myself. I ate flatbread for dessert the night I made it, and for breakfast the following two days. And no, it didn’t go bad. I just made sure I wrapped it in some clingwrap, before refrigerating it and warmed it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 150ºC, when I wanted to eat it.