Not much bread done again at home still because I’m still working at Bramhall Bakery. Don’t get to do a hell of a lot of the bread there myself either, I get there too late in the morning (most of it having been done by 6 am when I turn in). But one of the things I did get to help with today was the teatime twist. This one’s a versatile bread, so get your imagination going.
You start with a basic dough. For the particular ones that I was working on, it was a bun dough with currants and the like in it, but you can (and we do) use a basic white dough for a savoury “twist”. Once it’s been kneaded and had its first rest, turn it out onto a worktop (we don’t need to flour ours but you might feel more secure doing that at home) and squish it down with your knuckles to make a rough square shape, about 20cm each way.
Time to start pimping up your twist. The one pictured is a custard twist, which got smeared with incredibly thick custard with a little strip left at the bottom and a bigger strip left at the top. Our other teatime twist is smeared with apple sauce and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. And we do savoury ones smeared with garlic paste and topped with cheddar cheese, and ones with spinach, feta and cheddar cheese, and ones with chorizo, sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers and more cheese... you can see where we’re going with these ideas, can’t you? Grab your favourite pizza toppings, or the most imaginative things you can think of to smear on toast or top a pancake with, and you can bung these in your twist.
Now, the tricky bit. Well... it’s not that tricky, but if you don’t get it right then you’re twist isn’t going to be much of a twist. Start at the end where you left the smaller gap and fold this end over on itself, then press it down firmly to seal.
Place your hands on top of this bit and roll away from your body. You shouldn’t need to apply too much pressure for this to happen correctly. Use two hands for an even roll... I’m only using one hand in the picture because the other was occupied with the camera
Once rolled, you should have something that looks a little like this.
Next you need to crack out the scissors. And, if you’re me, you might need to grow a bigger pair of hands to open them wide enough to get them all the way round your roll of dough. You’ll need to make around 8 or 9 cuts in your dough, at about 45° and very close to all the way through but leaving a little bit, like a spine, to hold your twist together.
You’ve currently got lots of arrow-shaped cuts. Starting at the end the arrows point to, pull the end bit of dough to one side (e.g. left), then pull the next bit to the other side (... e.g. right). Continue to alternate pulling the pieces of dough out to the side until you reach the top, then gently pick it up and push it together slightly. You now have your twist!
Leave your twist to double in size before cooking as per the dough instructions. You want it to come out of the oven lightly golden and fairly soft. If you’re doing a savoury, cheesy one, take the twist out of the oven 3-4 minutes before time, top with more cheese and put it back in the oven for the cheese to melt.
For your sweet twists, you can glaze then with sugar syrup (or something like a Chelsea bun glaze) or dust them with icing sugar when they come out of the oven.
Finally... tear off a piece and enjoy.