After making the amazing Sticky Maple-Apple Traybake last weekend from the Great British Bake Off App (previous post), I didn’t miss a beat in saying yes to reviewing a copy of the book The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers.
If you’re a fan of the show, like I am, then you will know that the third challenge of the weekend is called the ‘showstopper.’ A chance for the bakers to show off a bit and maybe save themselves like Ryan did last week with his Key Lime Pie. FYI: the recipe for that pie is included in this book along with other showstoppers from the contestants like Victoria’s Sixpence Cake (the cake with the blackbirds) and James’ Lychee & Raspberry Tart! Plus many more we have yet to see! Some of the recipes are labeled Showstopper Challenge: 1-Easy 2-Takes a Little Time 3-Needs a Little Skill; other recipes are labeled with Best of the Bake Off and Judge’s Technical Challenge. The Technical Challenges are the ones I’m always curious about! No need to worry though because all the directions are there!!
There are many other recipes with no label at all and one of those is the Cinnamon Breakfast Loaf. I couldn’t make up my mind on what to make so my husband picked it! Let’s just say I’m glad Paul Hollywood wasn’t judging me today!! You’ll see why!!
500g strong white bread flour
1 ½ tsp sea salt flakes, crushed
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
50g unsalted butter
1 large egg, at room temp
for the filling:
50g caster sugar
1 tsp plain flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
milk, for brushing
small knob of butter
1x900g loaf tin, 26x12.5x7.5cm, greased; baking paper
I added the 125ml water to the list above because I forgot it. Before anyone says it - I did read the recipe thoroughly!! I knew there was something wrong, but I only figured it out when I wrote this post. I had even told myself not to forget the water. But before I start a recipe I get out everything I need according to the list. Then I am usually multi-tasking when I’m baking. Which I was - I was making lunch and attending to the demands of a 2 ½ year-old. I kept adding more milk like is says in step 2 and wondering why it wasn’t coming together right. Anyway….
- Mix together the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a large freestanding electric mixer. Stir in the dried yeast.
- Gently warm the milk with 125ml water until lukewarm and the butter has melted. Remove from the heat. Add the egg and beat with a fork until combined, then add to the flour mixture. Work the ingredients together (use the mixer on the lowest speed) to make a very soft but not sticky dough. If there are any dry crumbs at the base of the bowl, or the dough seems dry and hard to work, add more milk or water a tbsp at a time. I ended up adding a lot of extra milk because of my mistake. If the dough is too sticky add more flour a tbsp at a time.
- Turn out the dough unto a lightly floured worktop and knead thoroughly for about 10 minutes by hand, or 5 minutes with the dough hook on low speed until dough is silky-smooth and pliable. Return to the bowl and cover with snap on lid or cling film and leave to rise in a warm but not hot place for about an hour until doubled in size. It was here I told myself if it doesn’t rise I would start again. But it rose so I went ahead with it.
- Meanwhile, prepare your tin. Press a sheet of baking paper into the tin so it hangs over the edge a bit. It makes it easier to remove incase the filling leaks. In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon and leave to the side.
- Punch down the risen dough to deflate, then turn out unto a lightly floured worktop and knead for a few seconds. Pat out to a rough rectangle about 2cm thick. Cover lightly with a sheet of cling film and leave to relax for 5 minutes – it will make it easier to roll out.
- Lightly flour the rolling pin and roll out the dough to a rectangle as wide as the length of your tin and 48cm long. Because of the nature of my dough I couldn’t get it to roll out and so it was not that long and it didn’t roll very well as you can see in the pictures. Brush the dough liberally with milk, then sprinkle over the sugar mixture in an even layer, leaving a 1cm border clear at one short end. Roll up the dough, neatly and tightly, from the other short end and pinch the seam together to seal it firmly.
- Lift the rolled dough into the tine, gently tucking the ends under to make a neat shape. Slip the tin into a large plastic bag and slightly inflate it so the plastic doesn’t stick to the dough, then tie the ends. (I just used cling film). Leave to rise as before until just doubled in size (don’t let it become to big or it will lose it’s shape). Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas4.
- Uncover the dough and brush lightly with milk. Bake for about 35 minutes until a good golden brown and the turned-out loaf sounds hollow when it’s tapped on the underside. If it sounds like a dull ‘thud’ return it to the oven (set straight on the shelf) and bake for a further 5 minutes, then test again.
- Transfer the turned out loaf to a wire rack and rub the butter over the top to give a glossy finish. Leave until completely cool before slicing. Eat within 5 days, or freeze.
Even though I forgot a substantial amount of water and added in a lot of milk the loaf and it’s heavy (dense?) it still tastes okay. Maybe I’ll try frying it or make French toast with it? Or something? I love cinnamon so I will probably give this recipe another go sometime!! I’m just glad that my ‘bad’ baking day means I’m just short some flour and sugar and I’m not being kicked off a TV show!!
The book has many tips and tricks in making your baking stand out! I would recommend it to any level of baker because I believe we never stop learning!!
The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes intoShowstoppers by Linda Collister
In my last post I talked all about how awesome the Great British Bake Off App is. If you haven't already downloaded it I think you should. It's only 2.99 (available now from the iTunes Store)! You get recipes from this book and the other book Great British Bake Off: How to Bake. Which is a bargain!! Still not convinced check out this preview and other reviews to find out more about it!
It's also available in the USA!