Apologies for my lack of posts lately. Since uni started back a couple of weeks ago it’s been a bit hectic, who’d have thought that 3 months of sitting about being lazy would leave me so unprepared for classes starting…?
The other reason for my lack of posts is because I simply forgot to take pictures. A couple of times I’d take pictures all the way through and then get so hungry that I’d plate up and eat the meal straight away rather than remembering to snap a shot of it.
Anyway, I’ve hopefully resolved that problem and I’ll endeavour to post at least once a week, so we’ll see how that goes.
Bread. Bread. Bread. I love bread. Making it is so relaxing and rewarding. I feel very homey when I take a fresh loaf out the oven and cut that first slice before I’m really allowed to. That’s why it was such a disappointment when this sorry looking thing came out of the oven a few weeks ago.
I think I let it rise too long or it rose too quickly because it was looking wonderful. But then when I went to slash the top, it just collapsed. It never moved again. Just browned in the oven and left me wondering where I went wrong.
The consolation was that it tasted pretty good and so it didn’t last very long. But it was annoying nonetheless.
On Monday I attempted bread for the first time since that disaster. It was beautiful. The perfect loaf. It only lasted a day and so I made more on Tuesday night. This second batch, though still about is rapidly disappearing also. It’s got nothing to do with me, honest…
This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. This is where I first heard about potato water in bread. The starch from the water not only helps the bread to rise but it also adds a lovely flavour. I have since come across other recipes which incorporate both the water and some mashed potato. I am yet to try this, but when I get round to it I shall post on here. You don’t have to use potato water for this recipe to work, warm tap water will work just fine too.
Adapted from ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ by Nigella Lawson
- 400g White Bread Flour
- 100g Wholemeal Bread Flour
- 1 sachet (7g) easy blend yeast (or you could use 15g fresh yeast)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 300ml warm potato/tap water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Mix the butter into the water and let it melt.
Put the dry ingredients in a bowl, mix with a fork and make a well in the middle.
Pour in about 200mls of water and combine with a fork. You should end up with a dry shaggy dough. Cover this with clingfilm and allow to rest for 2 minutes.
Now use your hand to bring the dough together into more of a ball. You’ll probably need to add at least half of the remaining water. Depending on the humidity and dryness of the flour etc you may or may not need all of the water so add very gradually only when you are sure the dough needs it.
Once the dough has come together into a ball without leaving too many bits in the bowl you can begin to knead. Oil your surface and hands then coat each side of the dough and begin to knead for about ten minutes.
Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Knock back and shape for your tray or tin. Cover again and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Slash the top of the bread a few times to allow further rising (hopefully yours won’t sink!)
Bake in a preheated oven (220C) for 20-25 minutes or until the top has browned and you hear a hollow sound when you knock the base.
Enjoy with some real butter…great lashings of it!