This absolutely, definitely, categorically does not mean that I’ve accepted any sort of challenge at all. Maybe.
I’m just enjoying my Christmas presents and knocking up a few loaves of bread along the way. Nothing to see, moving along.
Well, actually there are some loaves of bread. All courtesy of 100 Great Breads.
#3 Farl (page 31)
Gorgeous to look at, gorgeous to eat. This one was a definite hit. I cooked to the recipe more or less, only substituting dried yeast for the fresh stuff.
The original recipe was for 20g of fresh yeast so I used 14g of dried as Mr Hollywood suggests reducing the amount by a quarter if you don’t have fresh yeast but that’s still double what I’d usually put in a 1lb loaf so I’m quite tempted to try again with half and a longer proving time. There certainly wouldn’t be any complaints from the family for a repeat, it made a good base for scrambley eggs on toast and excellent ham sandwiches thus fulfilling all imaginable bread requirements, at least as far as we’re concerned.
#4 Guinness and Treacle Bread (page 28)
I had treacle, I bought Guinness, I completely forgot to check the cupboard for wholemeal flour until I’d started baking. I really thought I had some but it turned out to be self-raising and whilst it’s possible to fudge plain flour to be self-raising with a bit of baking powder and bicarb, I’ve yet to hear of any method of un-self-raising the self-raising (if you know, please to shout out in the comments).
What I did unearth at the back of the flour shelf was half a packet of wholemeal spelt flour, and in it went, topped up with a little strong white bread flour to make up the weight. This is accordingly a mere approximation of the intended loaf.
It tasted, to quote H, “a little like Christmas”. We’re not quite sure why, possibly the treacle gives a hint of gingerbread, but it is good hearty bread, full to the brim of girders and railings and other things that are full of iron.
Perhaps I should just tell you that this picture
was supposed to be of a nicely buttered slice with the loaf in the background, but as you can see, a little hand got there first.
#5 Irish Soda Bread (page 24 – yes I do seem to be working backwards)
Much as I like pummelling the day’s stresses into a ball of dough, there is something incredibly satisfying about a loaf that you make by shoving the ingredients in a bowl, stirring, shaping roughly and then baking.
One word of caution on this particular recipe; do use the metric measurements for the liquids, the translation to imperial has gone a little awry as two measurements of 1/4 pint are not the same as one of 200ml and one of 150ml and it’s a little dry if you only add 1/2 pint of fluid.
This soda bread tastes slightly scone-like and was perfect with a big bowl of soup. I’ve just got one question, why is it a soda bread when there isn’t a smidgen of bicarb anywhere to be seen?