Lorraine Pascale Bakes Terrible Bread

Last week I was unlucky enough to witness Lorrain Pascal bake bread, during Home Cooking Made Easy, she made bread with a recipe that had me reeling with disgust. I often bake my own bread, for reasons of flavour and texture, quickly made supermarket bread lacks both of these and generally I find it an unpleasant food. The whole reason for baking my own, is to take time and produce something far superior to the rushed and flavourless pap that adorns supermarket shelves. So what did Loraine do that so troubled me? She made a bread with only 30-45 minutes rising time, I can guarantee this bread had almost no flavour and poor texture.

Good bread takes time, this is a fact, to make good bread you can’t rush, there are no corners to be cut that will improve your final loaf. I’m currently working with a recipe that takes at least 12 hours for the final loaf, or more if you want it to. It’s this time and slow fermentation of the dough that produces flavour. Now, I’m not suggesting you should all make a dough over the course of 24 hours, I know that practicalities determine something shorter. However, if you are going to bake your own, take a little bit of time to produce something different than the mass produces rubbish that is so readily available. I really wonder if Lorraine knows what she is doing.

So here is my recipe of Pain D’epi, its simple with an hour for the first rise and 30 minutes for the final prove, the minimum required. However, to stretch this out, say a first rise of 2 hours, would only help the final bread. If you did have the time, make the dough the night before you need it with only 2 grams of yeast, the leave to rise in a cool room or fridge over night. With more time the results will only get better.

  • 500g Strong white bread flour
  • 7g Active yeast
  • 10g Salt
  • 340g Water
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add water to the dry ingredient and mix to form a dough.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes until smooth.
  • Place dough back in bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for at least 1 hour.
  • After one hour take dough and divide into two equal pieces.
  • take one piece and form into flat rectangle.
  • roll rectangle into long sausage shape.
  • Do the same with other piece of dough.
  • Allow dough to rest for 30 mins, meanwhile put the oven onto gas mark 9 or 250°C
  • After 30 minutes the dough should have significantly increased in size.
  • Cut loaf to form correct shape, as shown in this video.

  • Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins until the tips of the cuts are very dark.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Cut dough, ready to bake.

Finished loaf