Friday, 16 January 2015

Childhood memories: "Torta de Aranda"

On of my new year's resolution is bread. Learn about how to make and bake good homemade bread. I love bread, but most of the time I eat frozen baguettes from the supermarket, which are good and tasty only for 10 minutes. So I decided to start with a special kind of bred: "Torta de Aranda"

This kind of bread is a typical bread made with olive oil from Aranda de Duero, a town near Burgos, in north-western Spain. It's a super tasty bread. When I was a child, every summer, we used to travel to Burgos to visit my grandmother, and I used to eat this kind of bread all the time, and its flavour is one of those you keep in your memory forever.

It's not a diffiult recipe, and although the dought is a littlesticky, it's no imposible to handle. It has ben my first attempt making bread (with the exception of the ones I made with the bread machine), and I'm pretty happy with the results. The recipe is based on the one from the book Pan (Bread), from the catalan baker Xavier Barriga.

TORTA DE ARANDA (Olive Oil Bread)

Ingredients (for two small pieces or one big)

  • 250 gr bread flour
  • 5 gr salt
  • 150 ml water
  • 2,5 gr fresh yeast
  • 30 ml extra virgin olive oil (plus a little more for spreading the bread)
In the stand mixer bowl, with the dough hook attachment (you can use just your hands), mix all the ingredients except the oil and the yeast for about 5 minutes at medium-low speed. Without stop mixing, add slowly the oil and the yeast, and mix for 3 or 4 more minutes.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest about 90 minutes. This kind of bread, as it's made with little yeast, do not rise very much, so do not worry if it doesn't rise too much.

After this time, divide the dough in half if you want to make two pieces, and flatten it with your fingers to form a circle of half an inch thick. Preferably place cakes on a linen cloth dusted with flour (as I have no linen cloth I used baking paper). Cover with a damp cloth, so the dough does not dry out, and let ferment for two hours.

If you prefer to prepare the dough in the afternoon but bake it in the morning, let rest the dought only for an hour and a half, then cover it with plastic wraps. Let the pieces in the fridge overnight.

Pre heat oven to 250º, generating steam (to do so, place a pot with wet cloths inside the oven). Just before placing the pieces, pulverize the walls with water. Place the bread in a preheated tray (or on a baking stone if you have on). Reduce oven temperature to 210 ° and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the bread pieces from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.