Yes, I’m lagging behind again on the Bake Off side of things.
I was away at the weekend at our Women’s retreat, bringing to an end a month of study and preparation. So worth it. It was a great time looking at the subject of ‘doing justice’. I loved being part of the team of speakers, though I was so nervous I had sweat trickling down my back during my bit. Too much information? It was such a privilege to be able to talk on this subject, vastly underqualified as I am. So exciting to see what God is calling us to with all our different talents, passions and situations.
As a consequence of all of this I’m on a bit of catch up with everything else at home including keeping up with baking the technical challenge from The Great British Bake Off. Wednesday was my first day-to-myself so I took on the Povitica (Pov-e-Tee-za) – an Eastern European bread – from the Advanced dough quarter-final week. From what I could remember of the episode the signature bakes were enriched sweet/fruit loaves, Povitica for the technical and doughnuts for their showstoppers. So I couldn’t resist having a go at making Richard’s Toffee Apple Doughnuts as well.
My advice is by all means DO make these two bakes, but DON’T try and bake them, two new recipes, concurrently as I did. They are both time-consuming. I planned to make the dough for the Povitica, and the dough for the doughnuts then do house work while they proved and…no…with making fillings and cleaning up I was in the kitchen for the whole time.
The bit I looked forward to the most was trying to roll the dough out for the Povitica. I used a large piece of cotton draped over the countertop to do this on (I couldn’t face using a bed sheet). I didn’t get it quite to the measurements suggested in the recipe, but it does say ‘approximately’ as I read after I’d stressed myself out trying to stretch it out that little bit more for what seemed like a very long time. Spreading the filling was tricky as it’s kind of grainy with the nuts and stretches the dough a bit more causing it to tear. Rolling it up was great with the cotton – just lift and roll. It looks fairly unattractive (!) when it’s put into the tin to say the least. That is remedied after it is proved and baked. The result is a not overly sweet, nutty loaf. It does look pretty when it is cut with all the swirls. It’s good though I think I prefer a fruit loaf.
What can I say about the doughnuts? I’d been dreaming of making these since I watched that episode. Well, the recipe for the dough from the Bake Off site I think wasn’t typed up correctly. The dough was very wet when I made it. After I’d had it kneading in the mixer for about 15 minutes with no sign of it forming a ball I gave in and added some more flour, which could have ended up being a disaster. Having compared the dough recipe to other doughnut recipes I think the liquid is too much. Apart from that hiccup, the rest was easy to make. Even with the extra flour the doughnuts seemed to be the right weight and texture. The apple filling is delicious and the salted caramel for the glaze is out of this world. So bad, but so good. All put together they were complete yumminess, and a great dessert for our Lifegroup meal that evening. I’ll be making that salted caramel again just to eat by itself…maybe as a fruit dip.
As for this week’s semi-final technical. Twenty grilled layers, I’m not going there. If you have the time to try the Schichttorte, let me know how you get on!