|I've been waiting for the episode devoted to sourdough before making any comments about Paul Hollywood's Bread TV programme (currently available on iPlayer).|
|Sourdough a la Hollywood|
|Risen Dough in Banneton|
|Ready to Bake|
I've got most the pieces of apparatus he uses - bannetons, a lame, baking stone - but the dough docker roller was a novelty - one that has since sold out on Amazon.
|Dough turned out|
But away from any hint of carping PH is best when he visits other traditions. It seems he has spent some time living in Cyprus and the Greek and Turkish influences are fascinating. Now I think about it this might have been in the the Great British Bake Off Masterclass programme, but his Cypriot Easter bread Tsoureki was a revelation. Very similar to Challah he advised that for Cypriot authenticity you need to add some 'mahaleb' and some 'mastic' to the dough. So far I've only found the former, but boy what a fantastic addition it is (its made of ground cherry stones) and a small amount adds a magic quality to bread. The mastic turns out to be the resinous beads that weep from the Schinos tree Pistacia lentiscus on the Greek island of Chios. Hence the product name 'Tears of Chios'. Historically the penalty for stealing it was death, so I guess you could call it an early enforced PDO! It's not cheap but you won't be surprised if I tell you I've ordered some over the net!
Another Middle Eastern treat from an earlier episode is Maneesh. A flatbread covered with Zataar spice/seed mix. Note that, although not mentioned by PH, bitter 'sumac' is an essential element of any Zataar (along with cumin oregano sesame seeds and thyme). My copycat effort turned out really well and was soon demolished.
|Maneesh after Hollywood|
Getting to the final credits, I laugh when I read "Original Music by ..." The tunes are poor derivatives of sixties classics. Green Onions/ Cherie Babe/ Hold On. All that's missing is Wild Thing! The sountrack drives me crazy!
So all in all Hollywood gets 8/10 from me.