Richard Bertinet’s Orange and Mint Loaf

This was one of the best breads I’ve eaten in ages. I decided to mix the dough by hand and learn Richard Bertinet’s stretching and folding technique. You have to plan to make this bread (if mixing by hand) because there will be long waiting times in between. Read through the recipe twice before you start. I wish you a pleasant weekend!


Grate the orange rind (zest) and mix with the cointreau and set aside.

Rub the yeast into the flour, using your fingertips.

Rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre then add the sugar, salt, eggs and mint-infused milk. Hold the bowl with one hand and use a plastic scraper to mix the dough, 2-3 minutes until the dough starts to form.

After about 3 minutes, the dough should look like thick sticky porridge. Scrape the sides of the bowl using a spatula.

and let the dough rest for 1 hour covered with cling film. After 1 hour, remove the cling film.

Then with the help of the rounded end of the dough scraper, turn the rested dough onto your counter top.The dough will feel very soft, sticky and moist but do not add more flour and do not flour the counter. Make sure you watch Richard Bertinet’s video before you move to step 4: working the dough by hand.

Working the dough by hand: work the dough by stretching and folding to trap the as much air as possible inside. It will be very sticky in the beginning but as you continue stretching and folding it will come together and feel alive and elastic in your hands. Ideally it should take just 5 minutes for the dough to come cleanly away from the counter.

Incorporating the orange zest: once the dough is ready (non-sticky and elastic) incorporate the orange zest-cointreau mixture into the dough, then flour the counter and fold the dough into a ball as shown in the video.

Place the ball of dough into a lightly floured bowl and let it rest for another 1 hour covered with cling film or lint free towel.

until doubled in size

with the rounded end of your scraper turn the rested dough onto a lightly floured countertop. Divide the dough into two equal portions

and mould each into a loaf shape. Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash, let dry for a moment, then cover the loaves with a lint free dish towel or plastic bag and let rise 1½ hours

 or until dough has nearly doubled in volume and is springy when prodded. Brush the risen breads again, with egg wash. Using a pair of scissors held at 45º to the surface make cuts along the top of each loaf.

Transfer the loaves into the preheated oven and immediately turn down the heat to 410ºF (210ºC) for 2 minutes, then turn down to 375ºF (190ºC) and continue baking 20-30 minutes until the loaves are dark golden brown. I baked, 22 minutes.

Please watch Richard Bertinet’s video if you decide to mix the dough by hand Step 3 and 4

Richard Bertinet's Orange and Mint Loaf

Original RecipeDough: simple contemporay Bread by Richard Bertinet

Preparation time: 20 minutes; Resting time: 1 + 1 + 1½ hours (Total 3½ hours); Makes: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 255g (9oz, 1 cup filled to the brim) lukewarm whole milk (you may need 1-2 tablespoons extra milk depending on the flour you use.)
  • A bunch of mint leaves, bruised (do not chop)
  • 15g (½ oz) fresh yeast or 1½ teaspoons instant yeast or 7g envelope active dry yeast
  • 500g (17.5oz, 4 cups, 1.1 Ib) white bread flour (Canadian all-purpose is fine)
  • 60g (½  stick, 2oz, 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 50g (¼ cup) fine granulated sugar
  • 1-1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Rind (zest) of one huge orange or two large oranges
  • 1 tablespoon cointreau (colourless orange-flavoured liqueur)
  • Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC) ten minutes before using. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Grate the orange rind (zest) and mix with the cointreau and set aside.
  2. Infusing the mint into the milk: warm the milk over low heat until piping hot. Remove from the heat. Add the bruised mint leaves and set aside for 1 hour. Strain and use the mint flavoured milk to mix the dough. If mixing the dough by hand go to steps 3 and 4 and if using a mixer go to step 5.
  3. Mixing by hand and resting the dough: Rub the yeast into the flour, using your fingertips. Rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre then, add the sugar, salt, eggs and the mint flavoured milk. Hold he bowl with one hand and use a plastic scraper to mix the dough, 2-3 minutes until the dough starts to form. The dough should look like thick sticky porridge. Scrape the sides of the bowl and let the dough rest for 1 hour covered with cling film. After one hour, remove the cling film. With the help of the rounded end of the dough scraper, turn the rested dough onto your counter top.The dough will feel very soft, sticky and moist but do not add more flour and do not flour the counter. Make sure you watch Richard Bertinet’s video before you proceed to step 4.
  4. Working the dough (kneading) by hand :  work the dough by stretching and folding to trap the as much air as possible inside. It will be very sticky in the beginning but as you continue stretching and folding it will come together and feel alive and elastic in your hands. Ideally it should take just 5 minutes for the dough to come cleanly away from the counter. For a beginner it might take longer (about 8-10 minutes). The final dough should feel silky, smooth and elastic after the working process is over. This dough is now ready for step 6, adding the cointreau-orange-zest.
  5. Using a mixer with dough hook:(skip steps 3 and 4) rub the yeast into the flour, using your fingertips then rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre then, add the sugar, salt, eggs and the mint flavoured milk. Switch the mixer onto the lowest speed and mix for 2 minutes, then turn up the next lowest speed and mix for another 6-8 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Remove the dough from the bowl, transfer to a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball. The dough is now ready for step 6, adding the cointreau-orange-zest.
  6. Incorporating the orange zest and resting the dough: incorporate the orange zest-cointreau mixture into the dough until evenly dispersed, then flour the counter and fold the dough into a ball as shown in the video. Let it rest for another 1 hour, then proceed to step 7 and 8.
  7. Shaping the bread and resting it: with the rounded end of your scraper turn the rested dough onto a lightly floured countertop. Divide the dough into two equal portions and mould each into a loaf shape. Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash, let dry for a moment, then cover the loaves with a lint free dish towel or plastic bag and let rise 1½ hours or until dough has nearly doubled in volume and is springy when prodded.
  8. Baking the Bread: brush the risen breads again, with egg wash. Using a pair of scissors held at 45º to the surface make cuts along the top of each loaf. Transfer the loaves into the preheated oven and immediately turn down the heat to 410ºF (210ºC) for 2 minutes, then turn down to 375ºF (190ºC) and continue baking 20-30 minutes until the loaves are dark golden brown. My loaves took a total of 22 minutes to bake.  Serve toasted, if you like, with mint flavoured butter.
  9. For cup measures, spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. I use a 240ml American cup.

Points to Note

  1. All ingredients should be weighed, if possible, including water (liquids).
  2. The dough weighed 985g (2 pound) so each bread was 492g (1 pound).
  3. Own notes. I had to reduce further at 17 minutes and switch off at 19 minutes. Last three minutes were off maybe I should reduce to 375ºF next time. (original was 400ºF but too much)

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Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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