Knead to know

As some of you might have known, I have been experimenting recently. Now before you imagine me with a nice pair of chemistry goggles and a white coat, I must explain that I have been experimenting with making my own bread. It doesn't involve an overcoat as such, but due to its floury nature, I do employ the services of a rather lovely pinny MrTSD got me for Christmas. (Along with an oven glove which makes me think that I am doing a little too much to make him think I actually AM a 50's houswife).

So, after a few attempts, which involved buying ready mixed packets that you simply add water/milk to, I decided that this was a false economy and invested some hard earned cash in this in an attempt to get my bread to actually rise during the proving stage. Previous attempts had resulted in lovely thick wholemeal bread, but still a little doughy for my liking. Of course, when you are making your own bread, don't expect it to be as light as fluffy as your Warbutons thin sliced. Thats because aswell as stuffing your daily bread full of unimaginable E numbers, they also pump it full of air, so it puffs up, fills the bag and you think you are getting your moneys worth.

Apart from you're not. You have to eat four slices to get the same fullness as 2 slices of homemade. so that means you have to buy 2 loaves to get the same as one loaf of homemade. Yet homemade come out at about 50p max per loaf.

Basically what I am trying to say is it is actually CHEAPER to make your own bread. All you knead (geddit) is a tray, some arms, some flour, water and yeast. They don't even recommend the old style yeast where you have to 'wake it up' or whatever you do with it. You can use the dried 'quick' yeast with the same effects, and no artisan breadmaker would look down on you.

You do however need to be in the house for the next four hours. The breadmaking only actually takes about 10 minutes (if you have a mixer who does the hard work for you). The waiting for it to rise/double rise/prove/rest/learn Spanish is the time consuming bit, and will have you straying no further than the local shop for fear you might miss the slot in which you must uncover/'knock back'/reshape and recover your bread baby.

Its a labour of love of course, and I haven't quite got a perfect loaf yet,but we haven't bought a loaf of bread since Christmas (apart from 2 handmade rolls from the local deli) and just think of all those plastic bags we aren't throwing away.

So.. the evidence, well I cleverly took a pic before this particular baby went in the oven

And then not so cleverly managed to forget to take one when it came out the oven. Still you can see it looks like a loaf of bread and it did indeed taste like one, but it was still a bit dense. I am having trouble getting them to rise during the proving bit... so I'll let you know how I get on with this beautiful bunch of floury goodies:

I've ordered some new yeast from them too, so I can see if its the type of yeast I am using, or if its definitely my proving techniques.

I also had a go at these:

in a pre-Easter dry run, but they were pretty solid, even though they tasted yummy. Again, something to do with the rising. But fear not Tea fans, do not fret for the density of my produce, I shall soon be churning out fairy light baked goods for all.

Watch this space.

1 comment:

rrrich said...

I LOVE baking!

I'm making ginger scones tomorrow full of fresh, ground and stem ginger and ginger beer!


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