Up close and personal with Luis Troyano

Dishing up tips and tricks for bakers across the country, the GBBO finalist has been busy mixing things up at the Great British Food Festival

If you’re heading along to The Great Bristol Food Festival to watch Luis Troyano in action, you can expect a whole lot of fun as well as great tips to try out in your own bakes. “I like to show how to make something tasty and spectacular that is actually really easy to do. The demos will be bread based, one savoury and one sweet. Both bakes are suitable for sharing with friends and eliminate all the myths around making your own bread,” says Luis. As a man of many talents (Luis also is a successful graphic designer, bee keeper and now author) chances are you’ll want to grab him for a quick chat, “I’m always open to questions from the audience and love to chat to people afterwards about their baking.”

It’s safe to say that more and more of us are interested in our food, where it comes from and how it’s produced. Popular series’ like the Great British Bake Off just show how much we love taking the time to get into the kitchen and learn about a vast array of interesting dishes, bakes and methods. Of course, we’re pretty keen on witnessing the antics, the disasters and the delights of the contestants (and the judges). Everyone has their favourite Mary Berry quote. Personally the best thing I’ve heard the queen of cooking say is: “cake is healthy too; you just have a thin slice.” Thank you Mary Berry.

For Luis, Ms Berry was a harsh critic he had to please, and the most memorable reaction he remembers was of course those Irish Cream doughnuts, “Her response when she took a drink from one of my Irish Cream doughnuts was priceless and a moment I will never forget.”

“The Great British Bake Off totally changed my life. As well as being given the opportunity to write a book I now also bake for a living, which is simply amazing. As far as baking goes, I can certainly bake a lot faster now than before the GBBO!”

When it comes to inspiration Luis has a refreshing outlook: “I don’t really have one thing that inspires me the most. I think the internet and social media has changed the way we consume information and follow trends, so there’s always new people trying new things, which is a huge inspiration. In terms of TV chefs, I have a few favourites. Delia Smith has been a great influence on my baking. I do however really enjoy watching The Hairy Bikers, not only are they entertaining but I admire their vast knowledge and diversity.”

We weren’t surprised to learn that Luis loves nothing more than exploring markets and festivals, as well as taking part himself. “I attend lots of food festivals all around the country. But I do in particular really enjoy going to my local artisan markets, they always have a heavy food bias. It’s really amazing the amount of people that are producing some fantastic products at home and selling out every weekend from a small local stall.”

“The Great British Food Festivals really do highlight the talent and producers in the local area. I love having a walk around and exploring the many stalls there. The people attending are always really warm and welcoming making it a pleasure to demonstrate there.”

“My favourite cake of all time is carrot cake, but don’t come near me with a blancmange and rice pudding. My family are my guinea pigs – they are my testers.”

We’ve heard that they’re big fans of this mouthwatering  jamon and manchego spiral bread muffins. Why not whip some up for a picnic, and if you are popping along to the festival, you can be sure there will be more delicious recipes to follow this:

Make 12 jamon and manchego spiral bread muffins

A fragrant sweet smoked paprika flavoured bread dough is rolled out and filled with Spanish Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, roasted red pepper strips and chopped green olives. It is then rolled and cut into slices and baked in tulip muffin cases for 25 minutes. Each one is finished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. These are a perfect accompaniment with a starter, a lunchtime snack or great to have on hand when friends pop over for drinks. Can be eaten hot or cold.

Ingredients
For the bread dough:

500g strong white flour
320ml warm water
10g fine salt
10g fast action yeast
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

For the filling:

100g thinly sliced Spanish Serrano ham
130g roasted red pepper cut into 1cm wide strips (the type that comes ready to use in a jar in oil or brine)
160g pitted green olives coarsely chopped
100g Spanish Manchego cheese cut into fine 3mm strips
Coarsely ground black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive oil for drizzling
Rice flour for sprinkling on worktop to roll out dough

Method:

  • Make the bread dough first. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and 3/4 of the water. Start to bring the mixture together with your hands or a dough hook. Add more water as required until all the dry ingredients are absorbed. You may not need all the water.
  • You don't want a dough that's too wet. Knead for around 8 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to prove for one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 200c fan.
  • When the dough is proved tip it out on a well-floured surface (use rice flour to prevent sticking) and knock it back slightly.
  • Using a rolling pin roll out the dough to a rectangle approx 60cm x 25cm.
  • Tear the Serrano ham into strips and place on the dough in 2 stripes on the dough.
  • Place the red pepper strips onto the ham stripes followed by the Manchego cheese.
  • Sprinkle the chopped olives evenly all over the dough followed by a sprinkle of black pepper.
  • Starting along one long edge roll the dough into a giant Swiss roll.
  • Cut the roll into 12 rounds and place each one with into a tulip muffin case with the spiral visible.
  • Prove for about 50 minutes until puffed up.
  • Place in the centre of the preheated oven for around 20 - 25 minutes until golden.
  • Drizzle each muffin lightly with extra virgin olive oil.

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