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Bread making – honey and seed bread

February 11, 2013

Victoria sponge and bread: these are my nemesees / nemesises / nemesi ?

Erm herm, Victoria sponge is my nemesis, and so is making bread. I would welcome your yeasty wisdom.

Honey and seed loaf

I have an ongoing love hate relationship with bread. I made soda bread every week for the best part of a year and I’m pretty sure it got worse not better. Every now and then I go through a phase of wanting to beat the bread-challenge (or getting bread envy from reading The Little Loaf) and so I have another go. In reality I should learn more about the processes involved and find out where I’m going wrong, but by the time I’ve mustered the courage there’s usually only enough time to make the bread and not enough to do any in depth bread-training. This week Mum, Dad and Nanna were coming over to meet the cats (I’m sure you’ll hear more about them soon) and see the latest renovation work on the Bland-Pad, so I thought that it was about time I tried making bread again. I think they are used to being on the receiving end of my random baking fads. The loaf you see above is made using a loaf tin and recipe 2, which was from the Wessex flour leaflet whereas the loaf I made for them used recipe 1 and was a freeform round loaf. I thought both were a bit dense but recipe 1 was definitely better and went down very very well with both parents and Mr B. I still wish I could get those lovely air bubbles that bread should have though. Any tips?

At the cake and bake show in September 2012 I sampled some amazing loaves made from Wessex Mill’s flour. I purchased a big bag of their honey and seed bread flour which comes in a lovely union jack paper bag with a string fastening at the top. It looked so nice sitting there in my cupboard and has been quietly taunting me every time I passed over it to get flour for a cake. Regardless of my bread making skills, the honey and seed flour was lovely. There are little nuggets of honey that melt into the bread as you bake it and the seeds are quite small so it’s fine even for people who aren’t big on granary bread. Next time I want to try their apple and cinnamon flour.

Recipe 1 – quantities from the back of the Allinson’s yeast packet

500 grams strong bread Flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
15 grams oil
7 grams easy bake yeast (Allinson) (one sachet)
300 ml warm water (1/3rd noiling to 2/3rds cold)

Mix flour and salt together, then stir in the sugar and yeast and oil
Add the water bit by bit until the mixture come together.
Knead by hand or in mixer until smooth and elastic.
Cover bowl with oiled clingfilm or a damp teatowel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size for 30 to 45 minutes.
Gently push the air out, give a light knead, shape into desired shape for baking and leave to rise again for 30mins
Preheat the oven to 20c
Bake at 200c for about 45 mins or until the underneath sounds hollow when you knock it.

Recipe 2 – quantities from the Wessex Mill leaflet

500g strong breadflour
10g salt
10g yeast (I used a 7g sachet and a little bit extra of Allinsons easy yeast)
300g water

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Knead by hand or in mixer until smooth and elastic.
Cover bowl with oiled clingfilm or a damp teatowel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size for 30 to 45 minutes.
Gently push the air out, give a light knead, shape into desired shape for baking and leave to rise again for 30mins
[since re-reading the recipe I've seen that I should have let it rise for 15mins after knocking back and then another 30 after shaping...oops]
Bake at 220c for 30-35mins or until the underneath sounds hollow when you knock it.

No freebies were used in this recipe. Just so you know.

This is my first entry into Fresh From the Oven run by Purely Food and hosted by Utterly Scrummy. The theme this month is bread for lunch  – which is exactly what this was.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 11, 2013 2:41 pm

    Looks a good loaf to me.

    I just got stuck in with bread, Ed went on a course and of course makes it far better than I do now.

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