Wednesday, 12 December 2012

An Adventure in Bread

I cannot recall the last time I made a loaf of bread, in fact I'm almost positive I've never made one properly before.

Sure I have made the odd pizza dough but there is no substitute for taking the time to produce a fresh loaf from combining the ingredients into a soft, slightly sticky kneading it so it is stretchy and waiting (impatiently) for it to rise and commence its quest to leave the bowl and take over the kitchen ... to watching it bake in the oven, filling the kitchen with that lovely fresh baked bread aroma and finally to eat it, still warm and soft with plenty of butter.

So I have decided to change all that and dive into the world of bread and have a look around, try out a few recipes, develop my own (currently lacking) knowledge and skills and to tell Dr Atkins etc... where they can shove their no carb diets.

To begin with I have started with the basic loaf recipes, to get into the swing of things regarding techniques, ingredients and also patience, I'll stop shouting at dough 'to get on with it' at some point.

There are many versions of this basic recipe, usually regarding techniques. Some people have no knead recipes, others like a good knead every now and again. I belong to the latter. I'm a bit of a traditionalist and like the kneading process of working the dough and stretching the gluten. I used a Paul Hollywood recipe for my first loaf which is available here and this is what happened:

Not too bad at all. I did like some of the tips that Hollywood suggests, I have heard them before but never put into practice such as using oil instead of flour on the work surface and proving bowl and the roasting tray of water in the bottom of the oven.

So happy with the first effort, I decided to adapt that recipe, sticking to the dry ingredient quantities but replacing the white flour with wholemeal flour, I also increased the liquid amount to 400ish ml due to wholemeal flour absorbing more and this is what happened:

Result, two quality loaves which I have been stuffing my face with for the past few days. I am now slightly addicted to making the stuff when I get the time and looking forward to my next bready challenge.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful... i'm so glad you've taken the plunge and come up with some wonderful looking bread... there really is nothing more satisfying that that slice of homemade loaf... now, young man, you simply MUST try the low-knead method on my blog, it's so easy and the results are astounding xxx