Wednesday, November 14, 2007

raise the loaf

My first loaf of bread! db had some trouble with his recent loaf of sourdough. He's not sure what exactly happened but the loaf turned out to be quite narrow. For toast this is fine, but as I said to db I wanted to make some tuna-free salad and needed a sandwich bread.

Having been spoiled for the last six years with fresh baked bread every week I haven't been able to enjoy anything from any store or bakery for quite some time. Everything seems pale in comparison to db's bread. So what am I doing making bread? I'm not sure, but with a recipe from db and some tips on how to release the bread from the peel, I did a simple loaf and it turned out!

I did learn that I need to put more cornmeal on the peel in order to slide it off the peel with ease. I couldn't get the dough off the peel and had to hand it to the pro to get the bread in the oven. I also learned that I have to spritz the oven with water if I want a crusty loaf. This is something I'm hesitant to do ever since db once had an exploding light bulb in the oven when he spritzed that. Oops. It only happened the once, but since then I am reluctant to be in the same room whenever db spritzes the oven.

Seeing as db will be away this weekend, I will be on bread making duty and I have to say that I'm looking forward to it.



Red said...

Good on you! The only bread I make is soda bread, but I wish I had the talent (patience?) to branch out and try a few other varieties. I HEART bread so much, I could live on bread and water!

sp said...

I've always wanted to make soda bread because my grandmother made it and I loved it. She once gave me her recipe but it was all guesses at amounts. I've never tried it. Maybe I should.

Red said...

I can fish out the recipe I have here if you like. Let me see what I can find today...

Red said...

Okay, here it is!

Makes one loaf:
250g/9oz plain white flour
250g/9oz plain wholemeal flour
100g/4oz porridge oats
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
25g/1oz butter, cut in pieces
500ml/18fl oz buttermilk

I don't recall using the butter when I make it (it's been a while), but I definitely use the buttermilk. I don't know of a vegan-friendly alternative...

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C and dust a baking sheet with flour.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and mix it in quickly with a table knife, then bring the dough together very lightly with your fingertips (handle it very gently).
Shape the dough into a flat, round loaf measuring 20cm/8in in diameter.
Put the loaf on the baking sheet and score a deep cross in the top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If it isn't ready after this time, turn it upside down on the baking sheet and bake for a few more minutes.

Badabing! Enjoy...

sp said...

Thanks Red! I have a great butter replacement and will try to find a buttermilk substitute to make this the vegan version.
I think I'll try it this weekend.

mister anchovy said...

Baking and eating home-baked bread are among life's great simple pleasures.