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Archive for October, 2010

I started making bread seriously something over a year ago, from – as I’ve mentioned previously – a position of minimal knowledge. I knew the basics, but there was still a learning curve. As with most things worth doing, that shows no sign of abating and, between then and now, I’ve read a hell of a lot – just not recipes – I might pick up ideas from books, but I almost never use anyone else’s recipes, whether for bread or food in general. And, the more I read, the more I realise that every writer believes… Read the full post on my main blog

Apologies if this is the reverse of the system you’re used to, but the fact is that my bread posts do better when published on my main blog. Still, it’s only a click away… You’ll find it has a different title there, for the purposes of not confusing Google.

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Loaf tins (pans), have just one function – they hold the dough in a specific shape while it proves and bakes. It follows, then, that they don’t have to be massively robust, though a degree of robustness is desirable for durability. They should not, for example, flex in use.

I have a pair of 2lb tins which are very robust, but not quite deep enough, so I ordered another two. They’re slightly shorter, but wider and deeper, which will give me a slightly larger loaf for the same amount of dough (currently, it’s in the oven way before it’s finished rising, so a bigger loaf is achievable), and a decent-sized slice.

They arrived today and what struck me first was (more…)

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Today I have a batch of organic, 100% extraction wholemeal flour, from Shipton Mill, so wholemeal bread is on the agenda. Here, as a teaser, is the finished product:-

Click pic for full size image, Back button to return. (The uneven bottom edge is just one of those things. An amorphous lump of dough will either conform to a right-angled tin as it expands, or it won’t. These didn’t, and it matters not at all.)

I like wholemeal bread, but my experience with it has been rather less than inspiring. The first time I ever made bread, from a position of almost total ignorance, was during the bakers’ strike of 1979. I sought a little advice from the staff restaurant manager where I worked but, beyond that, I was on my own.

I opted for wholemeal, probably a tad over-ambitiously, with hindsight. The result was certainly very tasty but – let’s be honest – a brick. Much like the Crank’s loaf you can buy in Sainsbury’s today, in fact. Still, at a time when it was hard to come by, I, at least, had bread.

So, this time, I’m (more…)

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