All that horrid name calling the other week over the issue of improvers makes a girl think. What if I really am a purist, out of date, unwilling to accept new ideas?
I thought, maybe I’d better give it a try. My mate Rick once gave me a tip for a quick variation on a loaf – substitute a tomato sauce for a third of the liquid in a formula. I developed a regular recipe from this with a mix of strong bread flour and wholemeal rye, tomato sauce + additional sundried tomatoes – sells well.
You’ve heard of Frankenstein Foods. Well I developed this formula to make Vampiros, Vampire Bread – very handy for Halloween. I added magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C, and betaine in the form of beta vulgaris grated into the tomato sauce + additional vitamin C, capsaicin, beta carotene from dried smoked capsicum annuum. On top of this lot I slurped a good whack of over-proof Dillon Martinique Rum – strong enough to do a Lazarus job on a zombie. Added a further cut linking my usual diagonal slashes to look like lightning.
The results? Fantastic lift, moist crumb, great depth of flavour with flickers of heat from the chipotle.
Little girls love the pink crumb – they hate the taste but by then it’s too late; they’ve nagged their mothers into buying a loaf. After a few slices you can take a urine sample down to the doctor’s and get a few days off work or alternatively you can write your name in neon pink in the snow.
Actually, although the tomato sauce was a stunning fresh blood red, the baked crumb was disappointingly pale. So I had to doctor the photo a bit. But I thought, if it’s OK to put “improvers” in bread, it can’t be wrong to “enhance” the picture, can it?