Bread making

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Cooking it, growing it, eating it. Tell us your favourite recipes and tips, or ask for ideas.

Bread making

Postby Sprocket » November 24th, 2013, 1:04 pm

I've made most of my own bread since the late 70s, but for the last couple of months haven't done, because my old cooker's main oven packed up, and in the top oven the top burned before the middle was fully cooked. However, I've now got a new cooker, and made bread again for the first time in it yesterday - wholemeal, with roasted pumpkin seeds (from my own, allotment-grown pumpkins) and roasted sesame seeds in it, and decorated on the outside with more sesame seed on the bottom and sides, and poppy seed on top. The results, I'm glad to say, are excellent.
My basic recipe is as follows:
For four loaves.
6lbs (approx. 3kgms) wholemeal flour
1 scant tbsp. dried yeast
4 tbsps. sugar in some form (treacle, molasses, syrup, honey, cooking sugar, etc.)
4 tbsps. oil or fat (I usually use olive or vegetable oil)
2 tbsps. salt
3 pints tepid water (50-50 boiling and cold)

Put the water in a large mixing vessel. Add the sugar and yeast, and mix in until dissolved, but don't wait until the yeast froths - not necessary using this method. Add half the flour (one 1.5kg bag), and stir thoroughly until all the flour is absorbed. This produces a stiff batter. Leave to rise.
When risen, add the other ingredients, stir thoroughly, and turn out onto a floured table-top, and knead energetically for about 10 minutes (which is longer than you think, so it's a good idea to time yourself). If you've been kneading properly, you'll be a bit tired by the time you've finished. I knead by squashing it out into a fat sausage, rolling it up, turning through 90 degrees, and repeating. Cut it into four equal-sized lumps, and put into greased 2lb loaf tins, or onto a flat tin if you want free-form loaves. Leave to rise again, until they've doubled in size, then bake in the middle of an oven, pre-heated to 220* Celsius for 40 minutes, turning the heat down to 200* after 20 minutes. Turn out on to cooling racks and leave to cool. I use one straight away, and freeze the other three.
If you add seeds, nuts, or other things, don't add more than 500gms (1lb), because more than that will impede the rising. Add them with the salt and oil or fat after the first rising.

Photos.
Brendan Behan once went on a lecture tour of Canada. On his arrival, a reporter asked him why he'd come to Canada. Behan replied "I saw an advert that said 'Drink Canada Dry', and I thought 'I'll try anything once!'"
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Re: Bread making

Postby Bev » November 25th, 2013, 4:17 pm

Very nice! :good: The idea of mixing in half the flour and letting that proof before adding in the rest and kneading sounds interesting. The pumpkins seeds also sound delicious. I love them lightly salted and roasted.

Years ago, before I had to work full time, I made all our bread. The recipe I used was similar to yours, except I used butter instead of oil. I also used half whole grain and half unbleached white, but then added in wheat sprouts that I sprouted on the kitchen window sill from the wheat berry. I loved the way the house smelled on bread baking days.
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Re: Bread making

Postby Sweet Peace » January 31st, 2014, 1:21 am

Thanks for the recipe, Sprocket. I've been thinking it's about time I tackled bread making.
I've started making unleavened flatbread. I milled some wheat at the organic shop but it's a bit coarse so I added white flour to it and oil, water and sesame and poppy seeds. Knead for five minutes or so, roll out (not wafer thin), and bake, preferably turning it over at the half way mark. It turns out like a cross between bread and a cracker and is totally delicious spread with roasted macadamia butter. Oh, yum!
Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
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Re: Bread making

Postby Bev » January 31st, 2014, 1:55 am

Sounds delicious, SP!
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