Baking Bread 1

I started baking our bread in June last year. I kept coming across articles about bread and how even “proper” bakers now use ready-made bread mixes, how much stuff is added to bread that isn’t necessary (enzymes, anyone?), how shaped dough is transported from one country to another … and I also find the smell from the so-called “freshly baked” in-store in discount supermarkets extremely unpleasant. Then I found a couple of blogs dedicated exclusively to bread, I watched Paul Hollywood’s Bread series on the BBC, bought the book and started to bake! I’m very pleased with my bread, I’ve dabbled with wheat, rye and spelt flour, yeast and sourdough, spices and seeds. Today I’ve baked a basic bloomer as Mr Meike’s Kitchen loves white bread and a whole spelt bread made from a bread mix that is three years out of date. My mum had that left over from something or another and gave it to me to use up. I try to bake at least two loaves on a baking day so it’s worthwhile heating the oven up. When the bread has cooled, I cut it and freeze it in portions of about six slices so we can have fresh bread every day.

I had some trouble with the raising and proving processes today. Even the bloomer, a normally foolproof recipe, hasn’t turned out as nicely as it usually does but it’s still soft and light with a lovely crust. The whole spelt bread was a bit of a disaster. It occurred to me afterwards that I should have added a bit of extra yeast just to make sure it’ll rise. Hohum. It turned out all dense and with a bit of an odd flavour… Three years past its best-before date so why should I be surprised?

The bloomer recipe can be found here; I’m not going to bother to write anything else about the bread-mix bread, which was a standard supermarket-own brand mix that has left me rather cross with having wasted my time.

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