Making wholemeal bread…

Today I have a batch of organic, 100% extraction wholemeal flour, from Shipton Mill, so wholemeal bread is on the agenda. Here, as a teaser, is the finished product:-

Click pic for full size image, Back button to return. (The uneven bottom edge is just one of those things. An amorphous lump of dough will either conform to a right-angled tin as it expands, or it won’t. These didn’t, and it matters not at all.)

I like wholemeal bread, but my experience with it has been rather less than inspiring. The first time I ever made bread, from a position of almost total ignorance, was during the bakers’ strike of 1979. I sought a little advice from the staff restaurant manager where I worked but, beyond that, I was on my own.

I opted for wholemeal, probably a tad over-ambitiously, with hindsight. The result was certainly very tasty but – let’s be honest – a brick. Much like the Crank’s loaf you can buy in Sainsbury’s today, in fact. Still, at a time when it was hard to come by, I, at least, had bread.

So, this time, I’m . . .

To read in full, please click through to my bread blog. Thanks.

Advertisements

Chestnut bread…

As with my sourdough loaf, this is written in real time, as I’m making it. All flour is from Shipton Mill.

.

250g organic strong white flour No. 701

250g organic chestnut flour**

3 tablespoons e-v olive oil

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

336ml, 60% hydration, you’ll need it all.

1 teaspoon yeast, made into a starter as usual – in a mug put 200ml lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon flour (before adding salt), and the yeast, stir vigorously until lump free and leave until frothing almost to the top of the mug.

½ teaspoon yeast added directly to the flour

** The chestnut flour is quite Continue reading

50% Oat Bread…

The Hovis Hearty Oats loaf is being touted as the first ever loaf to be made with 50% wholegrain oats and 50% white bread flour. Claiming something as the “first ever” is always reckless and often, as in this instance, totally wrong.

I made my first 50% oats, 50% white bread flour about Continue reading

Shipton Mill flour versus Doves Farm’s…

Prior to switching to Shipton Mill, I used Doves Farm flours for some years, and I was perfectly happy.

I switched to Shipton Mill mainly because of their extensive range of flours other than basic white, and because their strong white flour is described as untreated, whereas Dove’s Farm’s version contains statutory nutrients**, added in accordance with The Bread & Flour Regulations 1998: Calcium carbonate, Iron, Thiamine (Vitamin B1) and Niacin. It also contains vitamin C which, as far as I’m concerned, is unwanted. The 25kg bag has no vitamin C – so why foist it on the rest of us?

**As I’ve since been advised by Shipton Mill, so does theirs, against their will.

In addition, the Continue reading

Some thoughts on Shipton Mill flour…

Since switching to Shipton Mill from Doves Farm flours, I’ve had to modify my recipes, particularly those based on unbleached strong white flour.

The Shipton Mill (SM) flour has a different texture to Doves Farm (DF), feeling more finely divided, with obvious fragments of bran, which was a bit disconcerting before I figured out what it was. It seems to have a higher moisture content, too – about 10% higher (or the flour reacts differently when hydrated, for whatever reason).

SM strong white is packaged in 2.5kg bags (compared to DF @ 1.5kg), and in a more robust paper sack. Presumably, that, along with Continue reading

Bread Bits, Part 6 – rambling about bread…

At Wellbeck, in rural Nottinghamshire there is a School of Artisan Food. I think that’s great. There must be many people, like me, who discover that they have a talent for something – in my case breadmaking –  and would like to take it further. They don’t offer a specific breadmaking course, but that may be a segment of the Baking course.

I certainly wish I’d discovered my own talent 30-40 years ago – with a school like this I may have been able to develop it to the point where I could make a living out of it. Now, at 65 and increasingly disabled, there’s not a lot I can do with my new-found skills except make bread for my own pleasure and consumption, and show off by giving loaves away.

Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.

I have been asked to make… Read on