For when you’re low on flour, have leftover couscous or simply fancy a change.
This loaf is made using a widely-available ingredient in place of a large percentage of the flour. The texture is crumpety nd it stays moist for at least a week...if you have any left that long.
This recipe was published in April 2020 as part of the Real Bread Campaign's #LockdownLoafers initiative.
Makes one large (about 800g) loaf, or a couple of small ones
390g Couscous, cooked*
300g Bread or plain flour
200g Water straight from the tap
6g Salt (about one level 5ml teaspoon)
5g Fresh (or 1tsp fast acting**) yeast
*Pour 240g of boiling water over 150g of couscous and ¼ tsp salt, stir and leave for about 10 minutes, or make according to the instructions on the packet.
**Read the label and avoid those that contain any additives.
Basically: Mix, leave, stretch every now and then, shape, bake.
Weigh the water in a bowl and stir in the salt and yeast (no, the yeast won’t die) until dispersed.
Mix in the flour and prepared couscous. No need to knead – you can stop once you have a shaggy dough but there’s no dry flour left.
Cover the bowl (eg with a carrier bag that you can reuse again and again) and leave to rest for half an hour or so.
Scoop the dough out of the bowl with a wetted dough scraper, or your hand, stretch it and fold it in half, then repeat this action. You can find videos demonstrating how on t’internet. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover again.
Leave at room temperature to prove/rise. Depending on what temperature your room is (mine was about 20-21°C when I did tests of this bread) this might be six to eight hours. During this time, repeat the stretch’n’fold action every now and then. You could do it hourly or every other hour, but doesn’t have to be that often.
Shape the dough however you like eg for an oiled tin, banneton, or free-standing on an oiled baking tray. Again, the intermesh is full of how-to videos. Cover and leave for two or three hours until it’s fully risen.
Heat the oven (with a baking stone or tray in place if you’re proving dough in a banneton) to about 220°C.
Turn out the dough if proved in a banneton, dust the top with flour, if you like, and/or slash it with a lame/grignette or murderously sharp knife and put straight into the oven.
Bake a large loaf for about 45-60 minutes, or small ones for about half an hour. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool before slicing – bread (particularly this one) can be gummy and lose a lot of moisture if you cut when hot.
In answer any ‘can I…’ questions about swapping or adding ingredients, the answer is yes, you can. Every tweak creates a different recipe that will give you different results. Seek out those recipes or experiment for yourself and, if you come up with a bread you love, please share it and your tips!
Recipe © Chris Young / www.realbreadcampaign.org
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the copyright holder.
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Published 13 Apr 2020
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