Use your loaf

Use your loaf

Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

I always make my own bread but one of my contacts on Flickr-Falling Sky- posted his results of using a recipe from the Guardian. I tried it out and was impressed by the taste and airy nature of the final loaf. It uses the sponge method of soaking half the flour in the water and yeast for several hours. By a strange coincidence there was a TV programme on just this topic last night- The Hairy Bakers.
I have adapted my own recipe to make a batch of 3 loaves using the Kenwood mixer with dough hook.

For the sponge:
1 1/2 Ibs of strong white flour.
2-3 level teaspoons of dried yeast.
1 1/2 pints of warm water

For the dough
1 1/2 Ibs of strong wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 oz of butter.
Put the water in the large mixing bowl and add the yeast. Add the flour and give it a quick blitz with the dough hook to stir it up. Leave for several hours with a tea towel over the top. This is the sponge and it will rise up as the yeast gets to work.
When ready, rub the butter into the second half of the flour – I like some wholemeal mixed in but you can use all white. Mix into the sponge and it may be necessary to add a little more water to create a sticky mix. Leave again and give it a quick knead with the dough hook 30 minutes later. Leave for another 30 minutes and then take out and knead on a surface until its nice and smooth. Don’t add too much flour to stop it sticking. You can oil the board if you want. Then shape and put in to the bread tins. Leave again until they have doubled in size in the tins. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in a hot oven – 200C in my fan assisted oven for 30 minutes does the trick. Tap the bottoms and they should sound hollow.


One Response

  1. […] Kneading dough is a way of connecting with the routes of the earth. Man has been baking bread for centuries and it is one of the most satisfying things to do in the kitchen. The recipe below was given to me by my mother and I have used it ever since with my own decorations and bread designs. As you knead the dough, practice the art of meditation. Just think about the task in hand, forget about all the other things that you need to do. Pull the dough and roll it under your hands. Think about your breathing as you do this, let the mind and body come together as one and enjoy the inner peace that it brings. (Do also read my latest bread posting here.) […]

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