I seem to have come across many blogs of late extolling the virtues of their home made bread.
It was like preaching to the converted, I've been making bread for 35 years, am I really that old? Okay not always every week, or even month, but fairly regularly to have picked up a few tricks.
However since I started college, I haven't had the energy to put yeast to flour, or the inclination, but lately I feel more energised, and I although I find this slightly perplexing, I am not going to question it too deeply and just enjoy the moment.
After reading Carie's blog the other day and wittering on about yeast, it got me thinking about bread and that new book of hers 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood, so I ordered it and it came yesterday, 'cause I am impatient and fast tracked it. Its a great book, (thank you for sharing Carie,) there were some breads that I thought oooh yes, Date and Fig bread and some that I had never even seen let alone heard of, Peanut Bread with 3/4 of a jar of crunchy peanut butter, I reckon that could be fun, especially with a chocolate spread, or how about Banana and Muesli , or Chocolate and Sour Cherry? or do you fancy a savoury Stilton and Walnut to nibble at with a glass of port on a cold and wintery evening.
Anyway I got home later than planned, threw yeast into warm water with a teaspoon of sugar and a sprinkling of flour, whilst I set about weighing flour and butter and finding sieves and baking trays, cooling racks etc.
After the yeast had woken up, even though it was a fast yeast I've always woken my yeast up, on the rare occasion I have just thrown it in the flour I feel I don't get as good a result and it all seems much slower. When the yeast was nice and frothy I melted my butter (it says rub it in, but hey, I don't think the bread minded) and threw it all in together and needed for a full ten minutes until I had this.
Looks good doesn't it.
Tip two? (tip one was the yeast)
Instead of putting the bread back in the bowl, having to find a tea towel and wet it and even when you do all that, unless your fastidious and get out every bit there are dried crunchy bits stuck to the bowl which end up in the bread.
I turn my bowl over and place it over the dough. It works a treat, no draughts, no skin forms on the dough and its in the perfect place to knock back, you don't even have to grab it out the bowl.
Ready to go in the oven, slashed and dusted with flour.
And twenty five minutes later we had this.
And fifteen minutes after that I had eaten two slices!,
Its very good. I like the butter in it, I normally use oil and I definitely prefer the flavour, of butter, for true transparency I used goats butter as that what was in my fridge.
(It is a combination of the Crusty Cob and Batch Bread, - I forgot to add the sugar!, so I cooked it at a higher temperature as it had very little sugar in it)
It was very therapeutic to make bread this evening, I really enjoyed giving it a good pummelling.