It’s a very simple recipe, 1 kg of baker’s flour, it must be bakers or bread making flour; stronger than plain flour with a higher percentage of gluten.
As with most bread mixes salt is 2% of the flour weight that is 20 grams for those not quick with maths; 35grams of fresh yeast or 14 grams of dried yeast. 10 % or 100 grams of lard, yes lard; this is Chilean bread (Hallullas), vegetable shortening could be used, but for the authentic flavour use the lard, yeah I know I have stated that I like a plant based diet; but I also like to be true to the recipe.
Approximately 600ml of warm water, this can be plus or minus has the stronger the flour the more water it will take.
In a bowl bring the flour, salt yeast and water together to form dough that’s strong and tight. Place on the board and knead for at least 10 minutes and the dough becomes smooth, if you have a good mixer this can be done using the dough hook attachment. Slowly incorporate the lard a small piece at a time until the dough is of a soft consistency and smooth to the touch.
Let the dough rest and make yourself a cup of tea; after the water has boiled put some boiling water in a tray at the bottom of your oven (not turned on yet). This will provide a nice humid area to prove the bread.
After the last of your tea has been enjoyed, roll the dough out using a heavy rolling pin; slowly so as not to tear the dough. Scrape some extra lard over the rolled out piece; I learnt this trick from a baker in Punta Arenas, Southern Chile. When we travel I generally gravitate towards the bakeries. To have a chat, see what they make and of course try their products. On a recent cycle trip in New Zealand I was famous for trying the pies at different bakeries across the country.
With the rolled out piece fold it over and let it rest for a few minutes, then reroll and re scrape with the lard. Do this 4 times resting between folds. On the final roll, pin out till the dough it’s an even 10mm thickness, using a fork poke and mark the dough all over. Find a suitable 10cm in diameter cutter and cut out disks that are placed on a greased and lined baking tray, like small biscuits. Place them in the oven with the steam from the boiling water the bread starts to rise. They will generally take between 50 minutes to an hour to prove, that is rise to be at least double in size. At this point I spray the bread with water from a hand held atomiser, turn on the oven to 200 o C sit back and let the aroma of fresh bread take over the house.
Check at about the 12 minute mark, the trays might need rotating to get an even bake, usually at the 20 minute mark the bread will be golden brown with a nice bloom; depth of colour, not a pale flatness. I slide them onto wires and that’s when the crowed starts to gather around to split them apart and layer with butter and eat fresh out of the oven. As there is a large amount of fat, they do stay soft for a few days and are perfect the next day with cheese and pickles, or cheese and ham for the meat lovers.
I whipped up a batch last Sunday; it was my father in-laws birthday, so the Chilean crowd gathered to celebrate. The fresh Hallullas went down well and brought back memories of our travels in Chile.