A month of breadmaking – July 2012

So, a second month has passed and I have achieved a loaf a week.  I am so proud of my achievement that I have ordered a bread making book as I am running out of recipes to try and starting to make them up.

Week 1 – Wholemeal Loaf

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500g wholemeal bread flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp fast-action dried yeast

1 tsp sugar

325ml warm water

1 tbsp oil

I took this recipe from the flour packet (Dove’s Farm wholemeal flour).  It made a small, dense loaf, which was tasty but not too our taste as it was purely wholemeal.  I probably should have kneaded it and left it to rise for slightly longer than I did, which may have made a difference.

Week 2 – White Loaf

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1.5kg strong white flour

30g fast-action dried yeast (60g fresh yeast)

30g margarine

15g sea salt

870ml warm water

Another recipe from the back of the packet (Marriage’s strong white flour).  This recipe makes 5 x 450g/1lb loaves so I divided it as necessary.  It made a beautifully light fluffy loaf, definitely our favourite so far! (I think a greater quantity of yeast made a difference.)

Week 3 – Wholemeal Seeded Loaf

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225g strong plain white flour

450g strong plain wholemeal flour

2 tsp salt

1tsp golden caster sugar

2 1/2 tsp fast-action dried yeast

2 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp poppy seeds

1 tsp sesame seeds

450ml warm water

I used the wholemeal loaf recipe from my Good Housekeeping book and added the selection of seeds from a recipe in my M&S Baking Bible, with a sprinkle of poppy seeds on top to finish it off.  I also added 1/2tsp extra yeast which helped make it much lighter (I also think my kneading is improving).  Oven was a bit too hot so the loaf cracked a touch along the top but it was still tasty.  There was a subtle taste of caraway, but other than the seeds seemed a bit pointless.  Perhaps more of them next time or bigger seeds like sunflower and pumpkin.

Week 4 – Wholemeal Date and Walnut Loaf

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225g strong plain white flour

450g strong plain wholemeal flour

2 tsp salt

1tsp golden caster sugar

2 1/2 tsp fast-action dried yeast

50g dates, chopped

50g walnuts, chopped

450ml warm water

My husband thought this recipe was rather weird, but I was experimenting, and I love the combination of dates and walnuts! It has made a wonderfully simple tasty breakfast over the past few days, warmed up a touch in the microwave and lathered with butter.  Also beautiful with goat’s cheese on top.

(As it so happens, my bread book has just arrived! Time to start planning next month’s bread.)

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