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.

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Yeast for home-made bread, and an elementary error…

If you followed my recommendation, and used Fermipan Red yeast to make your bread, you might be finding it elusive as my normal supply has dried up (I buy a couple of year’s worth at a time – it freezes well).

Anyway, I’ve found a new supplier at 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

Bread-making with a new fan oven…

15 years ago, when I moved to my current building, an elderly fridge and cooker came as part of the deal. Last year, as they were all getting a bit long in the tooth (about 30 years old), the management company “gifted” them to the tenants – by which I mean saddled us with the inevitable replacement and removal costs!

I never used the fridge, it was Continue reading

Keeping home-made bread fresh in summer…

And the rest of the year, of course, but summer is particularly problematic.

My home-made bread is, as I might have mentioned previously, excellent. It has a downside though – the keeping qualities of a Cameron  pre-election promise. Not a defect, except in Cameron, but I hate waste.

A loaf will last me a week, but by day three, especially in warm weather, it’s starting to smell a bit ripe, and by day five it’s furry and in the bin.

OK, not unexpected, as it’s Continue reading

Making bread using a stand mixer…

As there’s not a lot of advice on using stand mixers for mixing bread dough, I though I’d share my experiences with you. I’ve covered the basics in this post – this is the detail.

Because of worsening health, even before my recent crisis, and spreading arthritis, some months ago I started using a stand mixer, a Kenwood Chef Classic (avoid the Kenwood Prospero, it’s cheap and nasty, and the dough hook is a piece of junk).

Kitchen Aid mixers, which in some ways I would have preferred, are gorgeous, particularly the special edition Candy Apple Red version, but they’re overpriced and underpowered – see footnote.

My first attempt at using the mixer was disappointing and very Continue reading

More thoughts about breadmaking…

I started making bread seriously something over a year ago, from – as I’ve mentioned previously – a position of minimal knowledge. I knew the basics, but there was still a learning curve. As with most things worth doing, that shows no sign of abating and, between then and now, I’ve read a hell of a lot – just not recipes – I might pick up ideas from books, but I almost never use anyone else’s recipes, whether for bread or food in general. And, the more I read, the more I realise that every writer believes Continue reading

Shipton Mill flours – problems solved…

I’ve groused a bit here about the softness of dough (lower protein content than I was used to), made from Shipton Mill flour, and the unpredictability thereof – not any more, though.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of research of late, and one of the things I turned up is that very many pro bakers prefer a lower-protein flour than, say, the stuff you’d buy in the supermarket – which, of course, is what I’d been doing.

Shipton Mill 701 bread flour makes excellent bread, there’s no getting away from that, but it can be difficult to work with – the secret . . . read on at my Bread Blog