24.10.12

Fresh White Bread..

i feel like i've been having a bit of a confidence wobble of late - like nothing i do is any good at the moment, including (if not especially) my photography. Without photos, i haven't got a lot left to blog about, hence the lack of posts here recently. i seem to have misplaced my blogging mojo. If you find it, please send it back.


That said, one thing i did do not too badly this week was bake my first ever loaf of bread. The final of the Great British Bake Off last Tuesday left me longing to make mountains of cake, but everyone in the house is trying to eat fairly sensibly at the minute so bread seemed like a reasonable compromise.


i baked it according to Lorraine Pascale's white bread recipe in her book 'Baking Made Easy' and it really was surprisingly simple.

The general gist? Put 560g strong white flour, a 7g sachet of yeast & 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl (i once read somewhere that you should always put your yeast & salt at opposite sides of the bowl or else the salt will kill off the yeast before it begins its work -- handy tip!) and mix in 380ml of slightly warmed milk plus a squidge of honey. It's a really wet mixture but it dries out while kneading, which is done for 10-15minutes on a lightly floured surface, before being smoothed into a large ball and placed on a floured baking tray, covered with oiled cling film and left somewhere cozy to prove until twice its original size. It was then scored across the top, glazed with a beaten egg, baked at 200C for about 30 minutes, et voila!


My loaf wasn't quite as light as it could have been (i'm not sure whether i should have allowed it to prove a little longer, or if i baked it for just a few minutes too long), but i was pretty pleased with it for a first attempt.


It was particularly enjoyable while still slightly warm, served with a generous amount of homemade (not by me) strawberry jam.
Yummy!


Does anyone else have more experience in the bread-baking department? What are your favourite recipes or handiest tips to try next time around?

6 comments:

  1. Well I for one think your photographs are fantastic. So dont give up on that. Your bread looks good. We use the machine. It really isnt the same, so I would suggest you keep trying , because if that is a first effort there is obviously some inborn talent there!

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    1. Very kind, thank you. i'll definitely persevere on the bread-making front. All that kneading was strangely therapeutic!xo

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  2. I second Jill's vote for your photos. And the bread looks fantastic. I used to bake bread all the time, years ago, and if I were to go back to it now I know it would take me half-a-dozen goes before I really felt I had the "touch" back. Your first loaf looks far better than many of mine after years of doing it, so pat on the back for you!

    Thanks also for your very kind words on my blog.

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    1. Thank you. i think the bread looked a little better than it tasted, but i keep recalling an episode in childhood where my nana baked loaves of bread that were the size, shape and consistency of bricks and finding comfort in the fact mine was at least edible! ;)

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  3. Oh, yum!!! I've never baked bread; it's something I want to try sometime.

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    1. Go for it - it's not as time-consuming as i thought it'd be.

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