Ali received plaudits for his signature and showstopping bakes in Bread Week, despite being a newbie to yeast… So, we asked him for his tips!
1. If you’re new to bread, learn the basics – what is yeast, what is yeast for, what conditions does it need to thrive in, why we need to prove bread…
2. Try a simple, non-fussy white loaf. Again, a simple cookbook (Paul’s Bread, for example) will walk you through this very easily.
3. Tear open the bread (or you could just use a bread knife) and look at the structure on the inside. It should have bubbles/holes throughout loaf. These (depending on the type of loaf) should be even, medium in size, and constant throughout the bread. If the bubbles/holes seem to be smaller, and more dense at the bottom, it’s generally a sign that you’ve under-proved your bread. So from now you’ll know you need to prove it for longer.
4. Once you’ve covered the basics, try something different! How about breadsticks?! It’s still bread!
5. Go crazy! Think of a design or a flavour combination yourself, and give it a try. It may go wrong, but with the skills you’ve learnt from the above, when you keep trying you’ll eventually get to a perfect loaf that even Paul will be pleased with!