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Posts Tagged ‘Breadmaking’

A tip for stopping dough getting chilled by cold worktops is posted on my main blog. Sorry for the necessity of doing that, but it’s an unfortunate fact that it will get far more attention there than if I posted it here.

And yes, I really have (more…)

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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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I’ve groused a bit here about the softness of dough (lower protein content than I was used to), made from Shipton Mill flour, and the unpredictability thereof – not any more, though.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of research of late, and one of the things I turned up is that very many pro bakers prefer a lower-protein flour (like SM), than, say, the stuff you’d buy in the supermarket – which, of course, is what I’d been doing.

Shipton Mill 701 bread flour makes excellent bread, there’s no getting away from that, but it can be difficult to work with, and to prove – the secret (more…)

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve bought a batch of stoneground, organic flours from Shipton Mill, and I did so before realising that storage would be a problem, as I would have far more flour than I’d usually have.

Storing flour for any length of time means finding somewhere cool and free from vermin. The coolest place is my bedroom, on the floor (I keep my mobility scooter in there, so no carpet). There is, though, a slight problem with silverfish (pretty harmless, easy to kill, but very hard to totally eradicate). I don’t know if they can (more…)

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For anyone interested in creating their own bread recipes, rather than just following someone else’s, this is how I work up a new recipe.

The first step – beyond thinking about if for a while – is to put together a recipe that should get you reasonably close to what you want to achieve. Some times you get lucky, and hit the perfect combination of ingredients first time. Mostly, though, it takes a couple of attempts.

You should, though, get something that’s (more…)

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In today’s Observer magazine, Nigel Slater says” Baking your own bread is one of the least predictable but most satisfying of all kitchen jobs.”

With the latter sentiment I whole-heartedly agree, which is why I abandoned my shiny, new, mixer, and went back to doing it by hand, even though – when I get ambitious and make two loaves, as I will be today, shortly – it can hurt. But the pleasure and the satisfaction far outweigh that.

However, with the former sentiment, it would be quite (more…)

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In making my bread, I use Fermipan Red, a Dutch yeast which gives excellent results without imbuing the bread with an offensively yeasty taste (as with brewing, the yeast should contribute to the finished product, not dominate it).

I used to buy it in Liverpool, but as I can no longer go there due to health problems, it’s become increasingly hard to find (I have a couple of online sources, but it’s not cost-effective. I bought it from Matta’s, in Bold Street. They now have an online store, but it features just a small part of their stock and my favourite items – Fermipan and their own-brand fine sea salt (excellent stuff) – don’t feature. Damned if I can understand that.

Some months ago, I (more…)

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