Make Bread with Cider
I am new to craft cider. My recollections of drinking cider is of those well known brands that give you an alcoholic hit, but little flavour. What would craft cider be like?
Cotswold Cider Company’s Blow Horn has subtle spicy chai flavours. The name reminds me of heavily decorated trucks you see in India. Driving in that country is scary to say the least. Trucks have signs on the back saying “Blow Horn” and indeed that’s what you hear all the time when you are being driven about.
It’s a cider very comfortable with itself and full flavoured.
Blow Horn Cider Bread
I’m always thinking about cooking and baking and thought that Blow Horn cider in particular would make wonderful bread. I soaked oats and seeds in the cider and added to flour, yeast and salt. The result is a beautifully light texture loaf of bread, with just a hint of the cider and spice flavours. Of course, it would go perfectly with a glass of cider and local cheese. Why not try some?
You can of course use other craft cider. There are some fabulous ciders in the South West of England. Time to experiment! You’ll need baking trays, either a baking stone or a cast iron pan and a water sprayer (from DIY store if you’re using the stone). Adding steam will give you a crustier crust.
Makes 2 large loaves. Time to make: Approximately 2.5 hours.
Cotswold Cider Bread
- Water sprayer
- Cast iron casserole dish Optional
- Baking stone Optional
- Banetton or bowl and tea towel
- Baking parchment
- 500 grams strong white bread flour eg Shipton Mill, Wessex Mill
- 455 millilitres craft cider or beer plus a little extra
- 150 grams porridge oats I like to use Mornflakes
- 50 grams your choice of mixed seeds sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, chia
- 10 grams fresh yeast or 7 grams dried yeast
- 8 grams salt
- Place the oats and seeds in a bowl and add 350 ml of cider.
- Leave to soak for about 15 minutes
- Rub the fresh yeast or the dried yeast into the flour to mix through. Add the salt.
- Add the oat and seed mixture to the flour, yeast and salt mixture. Mix.
- Add a further 105 ml of cider. Mix well. If there is any flour left after a good mix, add more cider.
- Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy. Dough should be approximately 24C . Alternatively, knead in a stand mixer until it comes away from the sides and the temperature measures 24C
- Place in a plastic box or bowl covered with cling film and leave one hour.
- Preheat your oven to 220C (430F) . If you have one, place a baking stone or cast iron pan into your oven.
- After an hour, form into a ball, turn over and pull the dough in to form a tight domed shape. Cut into two equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a tight ball. Turn upside down and fold the bottom into the middle. Roll to make an oblong.
- Prove in a well floured banetton or bowl lined with a well floured tea towel.
- After 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, the dough will be ready to bake. It should feel slightly soft, with a bounce when you prod the dough.
- Slash the top of each ball of dough with a serrated knife. One long cut will be ideal
- Place a sheet of baking parchment, then a chopping board or similar on top and invert.
- Place into your cast iron pan and replace the lid or on your baking tile.
- Place a tray of water the shelf above the shelf you bake on. If you have a sprayer, spray the oven before you put the bread in
- Bake for 35 minutes. (Take the lid off the cast iron pan after 25 minutes) Take out of the oven and cool on a cooling rack.