I love making bread! There is something deeply satisfying about a perfect loaf with a crispy crust, and after a little chat on the Forum Thermomix about just that, I thought I would give myself a Saturday treat and make a couple of batons! (She says casually!) Of course this won’t be posted till way after Saturday, so not even a crumb will remain by the time this sees the light of day…and damn good they were too!
Knowing that steam is the key to the crust, I determined to use my beloved steam oven to see if it was up to the task as I had so often said it was…a picture tells a thousand words doesn’t it? This is easy and do-able, particularly without the muscle of hand kneading required..go Thermomix!
The steam does the crusty, golden almost bubbly crust...I swear, there was no egg wash, no milk brushed on to the dough, this is the genuine, additive free article! A fine texture, a dense yet soft interior, pass the butter and no one will get hurt! I am so impressed, I might do it again tomorrow!
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Place ingredients into Thermomix bowl in the order listed.
Mix 15 sec/speed 6-7.
Knead 3 min/Interval. Allow to 'rest' for 5-10 minutes. (Go shower, water the garden, plan the toppings for this most delish bread, put on your make up!)
Knead again 3 min/Interval.
Turn out into oiled bowl and cover completely with plastic wrap so the air will be trapped and allow to double. (This may take up to 3 hours.)
The dough will be quite hard and dense and yet flexible.
When happy with the rise, punch down and roll into two rectangular shapes. Fold in both long sides into towards each other. Tuck in the ends and seal all together by pinching the dough together.
Turn over so that the seam is down and you have a nice smooth top. Place onto baking paper and allow to rise again. Cover with plastic wrap.
Preheat pizza stone in a 220ºC oven.
No pizza stone? Use the 30 minutes for this rise to go buy one! You need it!
When ready to cook, slice several slashes across the dough. Place in steam oven and steam for 10 minutes. OR, bring 1L water to boil in the Thermomix bowl \8 min/Varoma/speed 2. Lay the loaves onto a piece of baking paper and onto the tray of the Varoma. Steam 10 min/Varoma/speed 4.
Carefully transfer to hot oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Loaf should sound hollow when tapped and be shiny and golden on the outside.