Monday, 22 April 2013

Chilli loaves

This request from Dan follows on from Red Nose Day, when Dan picked the chilli-flavoured Every Flavour Roll at school. He liked it, so asked if we could make a proper chilli bread. It's hardly original so I know there must be lots of recipes already out there, but I stuck to our principle - that we should make inventions without reference to any existing recipes.

The first question was how much chilli I should use. Dan can take quite a bit of heat in his food, so I decided to be quite generous. The second question was whether or not to cook the chilli before adding it to the dough. Couldn't decide, so made two loaves from the malted bread recipe, to test it out.

The chillis I used,
with bagel for scale
Special ingredient
1.5 large red chillis, finely chopped
knob of butter, for frying

Ready for the oven - cooked  chilli on left
Very simple. Make the malted bread dough and allow it to rise for two hours, as usual. Meanwhile, divide the chopped chilli in two. Leave half of it raw and gently sweat the other half in a little butter for a couple of minutes. Allow the fried chilli to cool completely.

When ready, punch the dough to release the air, weigh it, and divide it into two equal parts. Knead the fried chilli into one half and the raw chilli into the other. Shape, place on an oiled baking tray and leave to rise for an hour. Dust the loaves with flour and slash the tops shortly before placing in a preheated oven (200C/400F/mark 6) for half an hour. I wanted these to be crunchy loaves, so poured boiling water into a pan in the bottom of the oven to add steam.
Dan's thumbometer - double yum
The chilli flavour came through well in both loaves and tasted very good in the malted crumb. There was no real difference in flavour between the two loaves so I'll just stick to the raw chillis in future. Despite using quite a lot of chilli, there wasn't much heat in the loaves. It didn't matter because the bread was still tasty, but it would be nice to have some punch so I guess I might use smaller, scarier chillis in future.

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