Today’s loaf is a Rye Bloomer…

Marking what I hope is my return to breadmaking is today’s mostly organic loaf, a rye bloomer. Flour, as always, is from Shipton Mill, and I always use a stand mixer, in my case a 1200W Kenwood Premier Silver Chef (current version has been downgraded to 1000W for some reason). Without it I couldn’t bake at all – it does all the grunt work for me. You can, of course, make it by hand if you’re able.

My normal loaf is 50-50 white and some form of wholemeal. With rye, which doesn’t rise particularly well, I use more white than usual.

These are my scales, sitting on the cooling rack while my loaf bakes. Very accurate, £49.19 including a mains adapter. Runs on 3 AA batteries or the adapter. I’m still on the original batteries after 2 years or more. Go figure. If you bake a lot, it’s probably worth getting the adapter, it’s only a fiver.

Continue reading

Back to making bread…

2012, for reasons regular readers will know and which I don’t want to belabour any further, was the year I pretty much gave up on the kitchen. Partly because much of what I do there was beyond me, and partly because – well, I don’t really know.

Why, for example, did I completely abandon vegetarian food? I’m not a veggie, haven’t been since about 2001 (ish – it fizzled slowly rather than stopped dead), but I do like vegetarian food occasionally (I’ve just had a bottom-of-the-fridge** veggie soup, and very good it was too, and a lentil stew is coming up either today or tomorrow – probably the latter). I also stopped making bread, and I have absolutely no idea why.

B-o-t-f soup is exactly what it says – soup made with Continue reading

Stainless-steel dough hook? Forget it…

On Boxing Day – do I know how to live, or what? – I wrote about getting a stainless steel dough hook for my Kenwood mixer. Big mistake. Not the writing, you understand, but the dough hook. It was dire.

The standard non-stick dough hook has a matte surface, which actually engages with the dough, mixing it properly. The stainless version, however, is so highly polished that it just slips through the dough, barely making contact. The result, 6 weeks of substandard bread, with me trying various ploys to remedy the situation before it Continue reading

Technique change for breadmaking with a stand mixer…

As I said last time, the bowl supplied with my Kenwood Silver Chef Premier is rubbish, so I was reverting to the much better bowl from my Chef Classic.

Did that today, all the problems I’d had with the bowl went away.

I also changed my technique slightly. Normally I pour the water/vinegar/yeast starter mixture into the bowl with the machine running, then add the oil. This time, I Continue reading

Kenwood Chef Stainless Steel Dough Hook…

I noticed some time ago that wholemeal bread flour was abrading the non-stick (ha!), surface of the dough hook, so when I recently upgraded to a Chef Silver Premier, I decided to also upgrade to a stainless steel dough hook.

Now, on the original version, there’s a plastic flange which prevents the dough, as it climbs the dough hook – a worrying phenomenon the first time you see it – embedding itself in the planetary head.

However, the s-s version has a s-s flange, and this has a Continue reading

Kenwood Premier Silver Chef…

I’ve just bought one of those, and that “Silver” matters, as the basic Premier Chef, sans glass blender and Flexible Beater, and also without the Silver appellation, is distributed only through Argos.

Anyway, one of the problems with my previous Chef Classic, aside from a battery of ominous noises, is that it vibrates dreadfully. The new one doesn’t.

It is, though, by virtue of its Continue reading

100% Emmer Bread…

A year or more ago I promised I’d make 100% Emmer bread – and never did.

Emmer is a primitive form of wheat that, like Spelt, Einkorn, and Khorason, dates back to when god was in short pants, and it makes very nice bread mixed 50-50 with white bread flour so, based on the fact that Italy allegedly has a thriving 100% Emmer bread industry, I thought I check it out – finally got round to it this week.

First problem Continue reading

Khorason bread…

Last Wednesday I made my weekly bread with 50% wholemeal Khorason flour instead of the normal 50% wholemeal, and it was a seriously strange experience.

Khorason, by the way, is an ancient strain of wheat that has remained unchanged for thousands of years – its origins are unknown, but it seems certain that it predates the Pharaohs. It is though to be a variant of Emmer which, itself, has been dated back to 7,000 years BC. The grain for my flour comes from the Khorason region of Iran, from which it takes it’s name (not Iraq as I might have said  in an earlier post or Tweet).

Khorason is grown commercially in the US under the Continue reading

Random food noodlings – bread flours, plus pickling chillies and ginger…

Right, then. Last year I was sold 5 kilos of something rather special. No, not drugs, something better – Swedish Spring Wheat Flour. Most of it has now been used, experimenting with it in various combinations with other flours and, on its own, in makes amazingly good rolls, with a surprisingly yellow crumb. One thing I failed to do, while I had plenty, was make a loaf using it alone.

Now, I have just one kilo left, and it’s pretty much too late.

Well, OK, I could make one loaf, but the problem is that I want to make a couple of loaves, but a kilo just isn’t enough for a couple of 2lb loaves, so I need to pad it out with something which will either have little effect on its character, or, perhaps, complement it.

I’ve a couple of white flours to choose from, both my Continue reading