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I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fresh Bread - homemade from scratch.

This post is specially for Sam (Hetticraft) who requested to see some bread.  This is my latest one, and is a mixture of white and granary, half and half.  I do have a good breadmaker, but I have not used it lately, prefering to do it more by hand.  I do cheat a little as I use my trusty old Kenwood (about 40 years old) to do the hard work for the first mixing and kneading.

Ingredients :
8oz strong white bread flour
8oz strong wholemeal or granary bread flour
Approx half pint milk
1 egg
One and a half oz butter
1oz yeast (you could use dried yeast, but fresh is nicer)
1 dessertspoon of  honey

1. Mix the fresh yeast and honey gently until it becomes a liquid.
2. Warm the milk to blood heat (dip your little finger in, and if it does not feel warm or cold, that is right)
3. Add milk to yeast and honey mix and stir in gently.  Leave to one side while you mix the other ingredients.
4. Mix all the other ingredients, either with dough hook or by hand.
5. Check that the yeast mixture is giving off tiny bubbles, then add to the other ingredients and mix in thoroughly, until it all comes together and comes away from the side of the bowl.
6a. If mixing by hand, tip it out onto a very lightly floured board and knead together (If you want to see the right way, check out the videos by Richard Bertinet on YouTube)  It should be quite a wet mix to get a really good rise.
6b. If mixing with the Kenwood dough hook, keep the mixer going for about 10 minutes until you can see the mix beginning to stretch.
7. When well kneaded, then cover the bowl with cling film and put into a warm draught free place (the microwave is perfect - don't turn it on) until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
8. Scrape it out of the bowl onto a very lightly floured board, and fold it in thirds, turn it 90 degrees and repeat the process.  Keep doing that until you have a good smooth top surface, and the fold in underneath.  Press a floured finger into the top of the dough ball, and if the indentation pops out immediately, you know it is ready to continue.
9. Put your dough into a well greased loaf tin (2lb size), fold side down, brush the top with either milk or an egg wash, and cover loosely with a piece of well greased bakewell paper, and a dry tea-towel over the top.  Put it to rise in a warm place for about half and hour, the bread should be creating a dome above the tin sides.
10.  When the dough has risen for the second time, put it into a hot 200- 220 C oven for about 20-25 minutes.  It should be coloured but not too dark.  When you turn it out of the tin, it should sound hollow if you bang it on the bottom of the loaf.  If it is not quite done, Just put it back into the oven for a few minutes without the tin.
11. This is where the hard work starts.  You must resist the temptation to scoff the lot.   Allow it to cool thoroughly, the natural chemical reaction of the ingredients is still working.  If you eat hot bread, you can end up with severe indigestion.

Next time, I make a loaf, i will try to remember to take photos at every stage and post them.  Breadmaking is not hard , and very satisfying.  Have fun.

1 comment:

Mrs A. said...

It looks so good almost tempted to have a go and leave the breadmaker but then I think of the crafting time I'd be missing knneading away and the breadmaker survives to greet a another day!! Hugs Mrs A.