Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blaas again...

Ok .. so I'm a bit obsessed with Blaas .. and why wouldn't I be .. one of the most beautiful breads in the world. Making them might become a career for me yet .. only a couple of places left in Waterford making blaas!

So this is going to be my definitive blaa recipe. The last time I posted about them I had only made them once. I have probably made nearly ten batches of them since and they've been getting better every time til I feel confident in putting this out on the blogosphere as a final recipe.

This makes a dozen blaas and is measured so that you can fit the 12 on a normal large baking tray and they will join together as they rise same as they came from Harney's back in the day.

900g flour
40g fresh yeast or 20g of instant yeast (Fleischman's type)
600ml water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Add the salt to the flour.

Mix the yeast with lukewarm water and add the teaspoon of sugar in there as well. Let that rest for a minute or two and give it a stir to make sure tis mixed all the way through. 

Add this yeast/water mixture to the flour and salt.

Mix in a machine with a dough hook
put your flour out on a bench and make a hollow in the centre. Pour the liquid in the hollow and almost exactly like mixing cement bring the two together slowly and carefully. If you have a large bowl it can of course be also done in that. Keep mixing till the whole lot comes together and knead until you have a dough that's thoroughly mixed and elastic
Get a large bowl (plastic, steel .. doesn't matter) and rub the inside surfaces with a little bit of olive oil to stop the dough sticking to it. Put the dough in there and then cover with a clean tea towel or some plastic. I use a fairly thick plastic bag that I brush with some more olive oil and it works really well and I can use it over and over again. 

Leave to rise for one hour. 
Important to note that if you have a really cold kitchen or you accidentally used cold instead of hot water for the dough then it may not rise as nice as you'd like. If this is the case then just leave it for longer .. it should be about twice the size you started with in the bowl.

After one hour press down with your fingers  to force the air out and give it a wee massage to get the yeast activated again. Don't really heavy on it. Just push down on it and massage it for about 3 seconds and that's it.

Leave to rise for another hour.
After this time it should come up to about the same size it was after the first rise. Tis now time to divide the dough into a dozen.
Using a weighing scales or your eye if you don't have a weighing scales, weigh out 125g to 130g lumps of dough. 
(if you are thinking of investing in an electronic scales I've found the Myweigh 8000 to be the shot)
Roll them into flattened balls. The traditional blaa isn't like most rolls and doesn't have a big dome top but more of a flattened shape.
Flour the baking tray and lay them out like in the picture with the spaces in between.

Allow to rise for between 2 and 3 hours. 

This is an awful long time to be waiting so do please hack into these on a day when you're home early from work or not working at all. The total time from start to finish is probably about 5 to 6 hours.
Before you stick them in the oven you can dust the whole lot down with flour (my favourite) or if ya want a crusty blaa then either put a bowl of boiling water in the bottom of the oven or oven the door after 5 mins and ten mins and spray the blaas with a mist of water.

Cooking time on these is about 15 to 17 mins at 425 degrees F/220 degrees C.

I had these with a stew I made last night and then had them with Jalapeno crisps today  .. both are recommended.


  1. Thanks for the post. I hope to make some this week.

    If you make the dough the night before can you forsee any problems with the result if you bake them next morning ?

  2. There would be a good possibility of them over-rising if they were left all night, I would put them in the fridge and that will slow the rise down overnight, then take them out in the morning, give them a wee while to come up to room temperature and bung them in the oven...

  3. Thanks - just started then now. Proofing as I speak.

    Thanks again.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. There's nothing in the world like a fresh blaa, but sadly I'm much too far from home to get them at the local shop these days. Thanks again!

    1. No problem at all, hope they go well for ya! I'm back in the town meself now again so no more making blaas for me...