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Floris Bread: first iteration - Off in the distance
my journal
May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2009-04-27 12:37
Subject: Floris Bread: first iteration
Security: Public
Music:Bat For Lashes: Good Love
I've been playing around with a recipe from my late godfather, which was published twice that I know of, firstly in a book on Bakery by his mother, and then in his own book on Cakes. The Florises were a family of bakers, based in Soho (on Brewer Street, you may still be able to find a door lintel with the name 'Floris' carved into it), having immigrated from Hungary in the 1930s. They liked this bread well enough to sell it under their family name, and my mother remembers it fondly from when she was young.

It's unusual in making use of potato, as well as plain (not bread) flour. The result is a soft, light bread that gets eaten before it has a chance to go stale, but stays fresh much longer than any other bread I've made.

This is the version of the recipe I used on Saturday. It's a little modified from the original, which actually uses twice as much salt, and a little more yeast.

1 lb peeled potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 lb plain flour
2 tsp salt
1 pint water
3 oz fresh yeast (note that I have no idea of the dried yeast equivalent. I ask for it at the bakery counter in Tesco, and they supply it free)

Steam the potatoes for 25 minutes, and then mash with the olive oil. Let cool on one side.

Warm the water at blood temperature, and into it dissolve the fresh yeast.
Sift together the flour and the salt
Mix the flour and water together into a dough.
Mix in the mashed potato.
Knead until smooth.
Cover and leave for an hour. Note that this may be an exuberant dough, and quite sticky, so be prepared for a mess.

Preheat the oven to 230 C. (Well, that's as hot as my oven will go.)

Fight the dough back into its bowl (this may require medium to heavy weaponry). Split into two parts, and put each half into a loaf tin.

Let that rise again for a while. It won't take long, this dough is more like the mushroom man from the latest episode of Primeval.

Half fill a baking tray with water and put it on the lower shelf of the oven.

Put the loaf tins on the upper shelf.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Turn out onto a rack and let cool. Don't be tempted to start in on the loaf while it's still hot, as the steam inside will escape and the loaf won't be so good. Oh, you did? Well, never mind, you've still got the other loaf.
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