Long-fermented bread…

OK then – sit up straight and pay attention. This is my first foray into long-fermented bread. The theory behind long (or slow)-fermented bread (fermented for a day or two in the fridge), is that it develops a much better flavour** than normal bread. And I have a batch of Canadian flour with a stronger than normal protein structure which, allegedly, is perfect for the job.

**My worry is Continue reading

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Out of the Painfog and back to bread-making…

It’s great to have home-made bread again, and I’ve really got to break out of this rut I’ve got into (been pushed into by events beyond my control, rather), and bake at least once a week. This should be easier now my pain is under control.

First step is to order some of my favourite specialist flours from Shipton Mill (these guys do some really great flours; good people too), like spelt, emmer, and Khorason, as well as rye. That way my 50% loaf, as well as being half wholemeal (the other half white, of course), can be something more interesting.

Until this past week, when my new pain meds have come to their maximum effect, I hadn’t really appreciated Continue reading

A brief, personal, look back at 2011 (and a peek at 2012)…

Well, as I’ve said elsewhere (possibly to the point of tedium!), I’m happy I’m still here. Better yet, I’m actually feeling much more positive. Physically, I’m much the same (crappy, but least I’ve stopped going to sleep wondering if I’ll wake up, and not really caring if I didn’t), but psychologically there’s been a huge improvement.

So much so, in fact, that I’ve invested in a 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

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

Winter breadmaking tip…

My central heating (supported housing communal system, out of my control), has been playing silly buggers for a couple of weeks, and now the gas supply has failed, so now we’re at the mercy of those dozy buggers at Transco (that’s assuming the engineers are right, and as they’re still working, maybe they’re not – anyone’s guess right now).

So, even though yeast doesn’t need to be 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

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.