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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Welsh Clay Pot Loaf

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A great conversation piece and so versatile, this fennel and poppy seed studded loaf is perfect for picnics, with soup and is delicious with fresh cheese and cured meats. The secret to making a perfect flower pot bread begins with curing new unglazed flower pots.  The pots here are 4-1/2 inches in diameter and this recipe make three breads, but smaller or larger pots can be used according the amount of dough prepared. It helps to have a scale to weigh the dough so each pot will be filled so when the dough has doubled, it makes a pleasing loaf. Instructions below on curing your unglazed clay pot.

Preparation time: 3-4 hours for preparing pots; dough prep, 10 minutes, plus 1 hour for rising. Baking time 35-40 minutes

To Cure the New Unglazed Flowerpots: Source 

  1. Wash the pots in hot, soapy water, (some curing instructions say not to use soap as it could leave a soapy taste in the pots), however, It is preferable to clean my pots well. Rinse well, dry and set upright to dry thoroughly.
  2. Heavily grease the pots inside and out with solid shortening and bake in a 300° F. (150°C) for 30 minutes.With hot pads, remove the pots from the oven, let cool completely and grease them again inside and out with the shortening. Re-bake in a 300°F. (150°C) for 30 minutes. Cool completely a second time.
  3. Cut out circles of aluminum foil to fit the bottom diameter of the cured flower pots and grease both sides of the circles and place in the bottom of the pots.
  4. Additionally, cut out rectangles of foil to fit the sides of the pots. Grease both sides and place them on the interior sides of the pots. The insides of the pots should now be completely covered with the greased foil. Proceed with recipe. 

Welsh Clay Pot Bread

Ingredients

8 and1/2 ounces (1 cup + 1 tablespoon or 150g) whole wheat flour
2 cups + 7 ounces (350g) all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon (15g) fresh yeast or 1-1/4  (4g) teaspoons active dry yeast
5 ounces (150 mL) lukewarm whole milk
1 bunch fresh chives, chopped 
1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
1 sprig fresh oregano, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 cup (120 mL) water
1/2 teaspoon (3g) malt extract or 1-1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 and 2/3 teaspoon (10g) salt

For Glaze and Topping

1 egg, beaten
fennel, poppy seeds and sesame seeds, or a combination

Technique

In a large bowl, sift the whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour together. Make a well in the center, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and pour into the center of the well. Whisk together without incorporating all the flour, using only an amount necessary to create a smooth mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter over low heat. In a small bowl, combine chopped herbs and garlic, if using.

After the 20 minute rest, remove the plastic wrap from the bowl. Add the 1/2 (120mL) cup water, the lukewarm melted butter, the malt extract or sugar and the chopped herbs to the dough. Knead until well blended, then add the salt.

Grease the pots as stated above in the curing preparations. Divide dough into thirds to fill the pots halfway.  A round of dough from each ball can be pinched off to make a topknot so the dough filled the pots halfway. Add the top round of dough, the brush the dough with the beaten egg. Let rise 30-45 minutes until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 400°F (200 C). Brush surface of dough again with the egg and sprinkle with the seeds of choice. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 35-40 minutes until golden brown  and a instant read thermometer reads at least 190°-210° F.


This fun bread will be a great edition to Menu Lib (e) ro hosted this session by Mony of Gata da Plan. Take a look at her blog to see what she has created!  Building a menu starting from recipes taken from cookbooks, an idea from Marta and brought to fruition by Eloisa is a fun project.





















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