Feb 5th, 2017
Just for funsies I made a bread basket for the guys coming over yesterday. That is to say I made a basket out of bread, and then filled it with three different miniature rolls (oat, olive and pumpkin and cheese and onion).
The basket was surprisingly easy to make – I made a basic white loaf dough (500g flour, 320ml water) and proved it for 45 minutes. Then I rolled it into a large rectangle about 7mm thick and cut it into 1cm strips using a pizza cutter. I covered a metal casserole disk with aluminium foil, inverted it and then stuck 6 pieces of dough together at its centre, forming spokes down over the base and the sides to the work surface. I then took the other strips and wove them in and out, round and round to form a basket. Two mistakes I made were that it would have been better to have 8 spokes or even 10 and that a bowl with sloping rather than straight sides would have been better than the casserole dish – due to these factors I had some minor problems with the mesh slipping down the spokes. Then make a top to the bowl with a simple three strand plait the length of the circumference of the dish, and another for the handle forming an arc around the diameter (this all sounds very geometrical but I guessed all the sizes). Bake the bowl for 20 to 25 minutes and the top and handle for about 15 at 200C fan. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. When done, remove the bread basket and attached foil from the casserole dish, remove the foil, and if needed return to the oven for 5 minutes or so to crisp the centre.
Attach the rim and handle to the bowl with toothpicks and fill with miniature rolls of different sorts. When you have finished the rolls (we had ours with mushroom soup), the basket itself can be dismembered and eaten with dips. I made two with a crème fraiche base – one with added pesto and pine nuts, and the other with tahini, harissa and smoked paprika. All jolly yum….