Patisserie chef Clare had many a culinary delight up her chef’s uniform sleeve but decided to start us off on something homely and useful - we were going to master the art of making olive dough! The 8 of us were ready for the boozy baking to commence. Before we had even washed our hands, we were poured a glass of wine and were escorted to the bedroom…where we watched a DVD about making dough.
Back to the kitchen we were about to make a HUGE batch of the stuff. We all got our own bowl of flour to work on and took our places around the large kitchen table. Our dough had a splash of olive oil for flavour and would end up as herby focaccia, pizzas and bread swirls (they may have a proper name, but I don’t know it!). As the creation of dough commenced I felt very earthy using my hands to mix the ingredients (measured out by Clare in advance). Once we had got it to the right texture the next step was to, like Richard, BATTER THE DOUGH AGAINST THE TABLE - the folding of the dough would get the air through it and get it to optimum doughy state. This is when I found out that Clare was right. This was hard to do.
I am not the most co-ordinated person and throwing, the 3 step process of slapping and folding the dough was not only like a work out, it was far too complicated for me to do well! Other ladies round the table took to it very well and their dough was coming along nicely. With a little extra slapping on the table by Clare my dough was back on track and I was ready for my next glass of wine. Which I'd totally earned.
Now I know how to make dough, the hard way! The earthy way!
Then we drank more wine. Then we rolled the dough, all taking turns to have a bash at it – we made about 20 of the bread swirl things, which were plugged full of delicious ingredients. Still there was more to be made! We threw parmesan and thyme into the focaccia and then sent our wares back to the bedroom for some double rise dough action.