Baking Bread 4

Time to bake bread again! The freezer is empty and Mr Meike’s Kitchen is still away for work so let’s get cracking.

Who do we turn to in desperate times? Oh yes. Mr Paul Hollywood. I think I only like baking bread from recipes in his book so much because I then have an excuse to look at those eyes… Oh yes.

This time, I made a tried and tested one and a completely new one, the recipe for which was only published the other week in The Daily Telegraph.

Let’s start with the tried and tested one. It’s the Rye, Ale and Oat Bread. I’ve started to tinker with the quantities of beer used. The first time I made it I used a local beer and it didn’t taste right at all. Then I got hold of a bottle of Spitfire and it was vastly improved but somehow too sweet. I froze what was left of the beer and today only used about 100ml, replacing the rest with water. Personally, I prefer it with less beer. It’s a good looking loaf as well. Even Master Meike’s Kitchen (he’s four and not overly keen on bread unless it’s crisp bread) said, full of admiration: “Beautiful!” There you go. If that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
I just find it such a waste of oats. No matter what I try, they stick on during baking but when it comes to cutting, they fall off. I’m rather pleased though that a fair few have decided to stick around this time… 🙂

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The new wholemeal bread recipe is pretty straight forward. For my taste, the crust isn’t crusty enough, it’s too soft. And tastewise, it could use a little oomph. I’m thinking some bread spices, I’m thinking coriander, fennel, aniseed, that sort of thing. Next time. I also found it a bit odd to shape the dough into a sausage and then twist it in a knot. It was awkward to cut; some pieces fell apart where the seems hadn’t stuck properly together. Maybe next time I’ll just shape it round, I can’t see any advantages of a knot.

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All in all, a good day’s baking. Four mixed bags of bread in the freezer, some out for tomorrow – not bad. Not bad at all.

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