Following from @Andy’s suggestion in this thread I thought I’d start a photo thread to show off our ugly and beautiful baking creations!
Here is my effort today - not a sourdough, just a normal yeasty boy.
Following from @Andy’s suggestion in this thread I thought I’d start a photo thread to show off our ugly and beautiful baking creations!
Here is my effort today - not a sourdough, just a normal yeasty boy.
2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Bread making advice please
Right - I am doing pizza tonight!
That looks gorgeous…
Looks good though!
I think you overloaded it Nick. The temptation for the beginner ( so I was once told) is to load the pizza with everything bar the kitchen sink. A soggy pizza is the inevitable result. Less is definitely more when it comes to pizza !
That looks amazing. Definitely baking that if I ever locate more flour.
i gather from the newspaper that we have now passed peak ‘home cooking/baking’ and that take aways and deliveries are now on the rise. This may mean that flour is once again in the shops. We who bake all year round live in hope !
And both to make us jealous
Great stuff guys !
I did a beer wholemeal bread, with no added yeast, on Saturday. Weird shape. Really hard crust. My husband likes it. Kitchen smelt like a hot stale pub for hours
Yesterday a wholemeal with yeast + half a teaspoon of Doves VitC + a dollop each of black treacle and golden syrup. Lovely flavour and nicely soft. Quite pleased with that one.
Sunday’s wholemeal with yeast camera left; Saturday’s beer bread on right.
While I’m waiting for Sammy Sourdough to get back up to baking fitness after his inadvertently long hibernation, I made piadini for lunch today. Less than an hour from thought to eating - they are simply flour, water/milk, olive oil and salt (baking powder optional), mixed, rested and then cooked in a hot pan.
I am so gunna be making that !
They look tasty Nick
there is some seriously good baking going on around here. great to see.
the bar keeps getting higher
The bar gets higher and the waistlines get bigger. I like the random sweets on top, artfully scattered.
Woop Woop !
lovely coloured crust
Nice texture. Do you use a touch of vinegar to help the eggs hold together in the pan ?
Yes I do add vinegar- always helps especially if the eggs are not the very freshest.
Actually that looks amazing to me! Great backdrop too!
That looks bloody good.
Oh the messy kitchen. Oh dear.
don’t hesitate - your loaves have looked great - the nice thing about this thread is that we are I hope relaxed about our baking, friendly and interested to have a look at and admire what each other do, while willing to share tips/recipes etc with each other if anyone asks.
The moment it breaks out into a competition I, for one, am off!
That looks lovely - looks like it got a great oven bounce…
So long as they taste good! I think the milk and a touch of bicarb in mine help keep them softer?
Yes. think I will try that. I see every part of Italy has a different version. Mine was heavy on olive oil and no milk, bicarbonate or yeast. Makes it hard to fold. There’s none left though!
This recipe is most similar to mine when one of my pals asked what they were. I use some of my bread making tips though - leaving it for 10 minutes after mixing and then giving it a good knead before I leave it for the 30 minutes they suggest.
looks good to me. It reminds me I have not made nan bread for a while. must make some soon.
These posts have really inspired me to make some of these. The recipe says lard or olive oil. I imagine that the results would be quite different, but in what ways different? As it happens, I have some lard that I bought for Cornish pasties that never got made. Also could I use plain white flour or does it have to be strong bread flour?
Traditionally they were made with lard. I’ve never tried as I rarely have it to hand. I’ll be fascinated to see the results!
The entire cook and prep time is only about an hour so there’s minimal gluten development. I think you might well be ok with plain white flour.
The great thing is that you can size up or down the recipe and as it’s quick, there’s room to experiment.
Now you have done it!! I now crave a chic chip cookie.
Here’s today’s attempt at beer bread, straight out of the oven. Albeit not very straight. A bit squiffy looking really. This happened with my last (and first ever) attempt too. So this time I tried an almost Paul Hollywood recipe (I had to change some ingredients) and I’m relieved to see from the photo in his book that Paul’s looks a bit lopsided too. Though not as drunken as mine.
Today I used Guinness I had left over from last night’s beef carbonnade. Paul’s recipe called for dark brown sugar … I only had muscavado, but I guess that’s close enough. And I didn’t have any buttermilk but I had a 2 kg tub of mascarpone, which I had bought by accident. so I used the liquid from that, mixed with fresh milk. Now I read that if liquid starts to come out of mascarpone that means it’s gone off! So I’m a bit worried I’ll poison us.
Anyways, here’s mine and Paul Hollywood’s Stout Bread.
Yoghurt is a great idea, though I mix the whey back in and use the whole thing. You probably already know this, but a great alternative for buttermilk is milk mixed with lemon juice (or vinegar) and left to stand for five minutes. I base it on one cup milk to 1 tbsp juice.
I did know about the lemon juice thing - and I have some really nice lemons in the fridge - but I forgot about that! I just saw this huge tub of mascarpone and drained it off. Do you think it’s safe to eat? The mascarpone smells ok but has shrunk away from the sides of the tub. I don’t understand about the yoghurt. Is it just that my mascarpone has turned to yoghurt?
Sorry. Some time in the brief moment in reading your post and responding to it I replaced mascarpone with yoghurt. BTW… yoghurt is great for bread.
My rule of thumb with dairy products is if it looks okay and doesn’t smell bad, it is still good to eat. In fact better if you are cooking with it. If I threw out every tub of creme fraiche because it was past it’s date I’d be throwing out a lot.
Do you know why my beer bread’s splitting like that? I don’t mean the cut in the top - I did that when I put it in the tin. I mean why the attempt of the top part to split away from the bottom part? It’s done that on both my attempts at beer bread, but it doesn’t happen on my other bread. It’s small comfort that something like that (though not as bad) happened to Paul Hollywood too.
I think that is supposed to be a sign of over proofing but I have never made beer bread…
Sorry. No idea. I’ve of the opinion if it tastes good who cares. If I want perfection get someone else to do it.
Thanks @starman and @Foresthillnick. I didn’t work it hard at all, just mixed it all together and shaped it. Put it in the tin and slashed the top, because it had done that same splitting thing when I made my only only beer bread attempt that I referred to and I thought cutting the top might help prevent it this time.
I only proofed it for about 30mins in a warm place, where it appeared to do nothing. But then I put it in a very hot oven for the first 10 min of baking and it shot up. I used 300ml of slightly warmed Guinness mixed with about 200ml of my milk/marscarpone “juice” mix, 2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and 2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar. 1lb 2oz of wholemeal flour (which was all I had) and 6ish oz of plain white flour (not strong bread flour).
It’s better than my last attempt. Maybe I shouldn’t have the oven so hot to begin with.
I think yours look almost identical to Paul’s - the one in the book looks like it’s got a similar pattern in the corner. I’m rubbish at timings on yeast cookery as I primarily play with sourdough but 30 minutes with little work does feel like gluten might be under-developed so it can’t cope with the oven spring? Like Starman, I would work on the principle that if it tastes good, who cares how it looks!
It’s actually not a yeast recipe as such, in that Paul’s recipe had no yeast other than the beer, plus bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk (in my case a buttermilk substitute).
Something similar happened with my previous attempt at beer bread and that time I didn’t add bicarb/buttermilk and I kneaded and proved it for a long time that time. Paul’s recipe says just to mix it all together, no kneading as such, and let it sit for 30 mins or you can put it straight into a very hot oven. So that’s what I did this time and it didn’t rise at all in that 30 mins.
I ate some since I last posted and it’s a nice flavour but I prefer my usual wholemeal. The crust on this is really tough and the bread heavy. I’ve had indigestion ever since!
I’ve made soda bread before and not had these problems.
Homemade bagels for the first time! They tasted AMAZING
Hope this isn’t too cheeky but would any Forest Hill bakers be up for sharing some sourdough starter, if I picked it up at a safe distance? Would be happy to do an exchange and bring you round a tomato seedling or similar. Let’s start a Forest Hill barter economy!
I can give you some starter mate - I have mine out today so all I need do is to add a bit of flour to some and stick it in a pot…
I have a lot of seedlings so no exchange required!
By the way those bagels look excellent…
Nick that would be wonderful, thank you. I’ll message you and cycle over later…and share pictures of the result! Excited to join the sourdough trend
If ever there was a hint…
I baked yesterday - added in some spelt flour (about a third) to my old recipe - and happy with how they came out. I made sourdough regularly for about 7 years and then really slowed down over the last 3 (as weekend time dried up and better bread was more readily available) so my first batch last week was OK but I’d forgotten some of the little details that make life easier. This time, felt far more natural! My shaping appears to have improved!
I am a bit crap at shaping but with the sourdough mine goes direct into the proving basket.
Ill see how my latest effort goes later - last week was a disaster!
That’s interesting. I’ve always ‘tried’ to shape my sourdough even with the proving basket otherwise I find slashing is much harder. My bannetons are oval so I tend to make batards. This page has a really good video on shaping that seems to give me a better shape that others that I’ve tried.
Nicely shot photo too, Nick! Looks very tasty!
Can I ask where people are getting flour from? I’m eyeing all these delicious bakes very jealously!
I’ve had no luck for weeks now, but I could just be going to the supermarkets at the wrong time…
Wellocks have some. Also yeast.
Huge bags of exotic things like pasta flour. But they have smaller bags of their own plain flour and Doves strong white bread flour. No wholemeal yet but stocks change almost daily.
I bought the Doves and made some white dinner rolls (rather late at night, as per Nick - but in my case I’d been drinking margaritas and watching Gilda and got distracted).
I’ve not used Doves flour before and the end result was rather grey looking. Whether that was a side effect of my lost evening, or the flour I don’t know. But they looked a bit like the rather grubby efforts primary school children proudly present you with.
There is a delivery charge. This is where I accidentally bought 2 kg of very nice mascarpone.
Jays Budgens often have flour, They tweeted This morning that they have stock today. Lidl had some yesterday.
Raise Bakery do mail order, but you need to order a fair amount, maybe share an order with friends, to compensate for the delivery cost. Worth it in my view at the moment to avoid wasted trips visiting local shops.
I lucked out on an early morning Sainsburys trip a few weeks ago. There were a few bags of two strong flour variants on the shelves.
Then I lucked into a Waitrose delivery slot and picked up the spelt flour and very happily had my yeast order substituted with a bag of bread flour.
I haven’t seen any plain or self-raising on the shelves. I think it’s a case of if you’re a baker, pick it up when you see it. I like the sound of some of the bulk buying options but having had mice in the past when stocking up on it, it really might depend on how much I can squirrel away in containers.
Blackbird Bakery in E Dulwich had strong bread flour today and Ayres in Nunhead had a number of different flours on sale as well as fresh yeast.
Thanks all! Managed to find some bread flour in the Honor Oak Provender yesterday too.
Huge thank you to @Foresthillnick for sharing some starter and facilitating my first ever sourdough!
It wasn’t as airy as I had expected (maybe because I put in 20% wholemeal flour?? Or could have given more time to rise?) but I’m pretty pleased with myself. Here begins a sourdough habit!
Btw another flour tipoff - the off licence at the Peckham end of Barry Road has bread flour, plain, wholemeal, the lot. It’s all packaged in cellophane - rumour has it that there was never a flour shortage but only a shortage of household sized bags.
I read this, but it was people to pack the bags
That’s great for first go - to be honest it took me ages to get to a point where I am happy with 90% of my bakes. It is as much of an art as it is of science…
The shortage of flour is down to the wholesale market switching from supplying large bags aimed at the restaurant and hospitality sector to smaller bags aimed at the likes of you and me. The production capacity just wasn’t there apparently - whether is was labour, machinery or actual bags…
I got lucky at Sainsbury’s Bell Green on Monday (was there about 3pm). I managed to get the last packet of strong while bread flour, a packet of wholemeal bread flour and the last packet of yeast. They also had gluten free flour in stock. But no plain or self-raising. It looks like stocks are reaching the supermarkets again albeit in smaller quantities, it’s just a matter of being there at the right time.
As a keen home baker, I now tend to buy ingredients if they have them in stock, safe in the knowledge I will use them.
Aldi had 10 kg bags of plain flour for 3.99 yestrrday
I’d buy big bags, but I’m terrified of weevils. I have some containers but nothing big enough for huge stocks. How do you and other bakers keep yours?
I have been considering the same. I do have a large Tupperware container - for transporting a double layer of cupcakes. I was thinking of decanting a couple of kilos into a smaller bag and storing the bulk on top of the kitchen cabinets in the Tupperware.
I currently have a mouse that’s moved in recently so am being wary.
We have something like this but didn’t pay that much for it.
I keep some in big Kilner jars and more with other perishables in sealed cliplock boxes from Sainsbury. All nice and mouse proof.
I’ve lost cliplock boxes of flour to weevils before so any new flour does a couple days in the freezer before being admitted to the stock proper. A little obsessive I know!
Thanks for the advice and ideas. Sadly my freezer packed up just as coronavirus arrived and we replaced it with a fridge with ice box, as we’re planning to move house. I could get smaller bags in the ice box and can always decant the big size and freeze it in batches. I’ll give it a go. Does it damage finer flours, like the patisserie type? I guess the answer is not as much as a weevil infestation!
I’ve got most of my flour in glass storage jars with some in clip lock boxes - and I’ve been doing that with cereals too since we had mice a few years back. But none of the jars are big enough and the kitchen’s got very cluttered since I’ve been doing more baking under lockdown so I especially love the idea of the big dog food box.
the flour has always been fine after freezing - need to just make sure it is wrapped well/sealed in plastic bags or a container to stop any dampness getting in. Weevils seem very random, and to be honest infrequent. I’ve had them in flour bought direct from a windmill, and also occasionally seen them on supermarket shelves of flour, in which the whole stock is probably contaminated. Some people say just cook with it anyway. I am not one of those people…
I think every bag of McDougalls flour I’ve ever bought has had them. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky. But (touch wood) I’ve never had them in those tubs of Homepride that come with a sealed lid. Which was fine for plain and self raising when I could get out and about and only buying a range of flours occasionally. I’m always nervous of them now and inspect my flour for them every time I use one. I haven’t seen any since I’ve been doing this, but since I’ve been buying two bags at a time and would like to buy bigger bags I shall try the freezing. Ick ick ick at the thought of eating them!
Please can you point me to your recipe? I’d love to bake sourdough, but I’m put off by the recipes which seem so much hassle!
Is your Dutch oven a Le Creuset casserole?
Sure! The recipe I followed for the bread is this one:-
As a beginner to sourdough, I find there is some faff from feeding the sourdough, but mostly it’s just waiting time, which I find much easier to handle while working from home!
Baking in the Dutch oven and taking the lid off for the second part of the cooking time really helped with getting a good rise and crust.
My Dutch oven is a GreenPan cast aluminium one - much lighter (and cheaper!) than a Le Creuset and non-stick too.
Agree with @neilw; the faff is when you are first getting your starter going when you do have to feed it regularly. Once it’s up and running, you can let it sleep in the fridge for a week or so between bakes. And although it does take time, Neil’s right in that it’s easier if you’re in the house anyway. Mine sits on the counter under a glass bowl and, after the first hour or so when you first mix and stretch, it’s basically wandering through every hour or so and giving it 20 seconds of attention. That tends to correlate with my WFH drink schedule (non-alcoholic ) so is easy enough.
Any casserole pan with a lid will work; Le Creusets get called out because the cast iron holds the heat so well. I have a piece of granite that I stick in the oven and just slide my loaves onto.
One useful tip is to turn out your loaf onto a piece of baking parchment and use that to help lower it into the Dutch Oven or onto a baking stone - you don’t want to disturb the loaf too much.
I also find that misting the raw dough with water before it goes in, helps that balance of getting a good crust v giving time for it to expand.
Elements of this read like a Ray Bradbury story. “You don’t want to disturb the loaf too much.” Oh no …
A sourdough starter is not just for Christmas
Oh wow Fran! That all looks amazing!
I got yeast online from Wellocks At Home and Scandi Kitchen. But I can’t get out to the shops so I don’t know how available it is locally.
Looking good! Well done for getting the hang of it.
As I managed to pick up some more flour the other week and Sainsburys also seemed to have some on the shelf, I decided to start a new starter. My old one hasn’t been quite the same since I resurrected it. I’m baking with it for the first time today and my dough does seem to have more ooomph before I shaped it… we’ll see how well the final raise and bake goes.
And the answer is pretty well… I reckon my dough raised by 25% more than with the new one and the dough seemed to shape better too. I’ve got that lovely crackling noise as they cool down which I don’t think I’d managed since the resurrection of Sammy. Hmm… this one might have to be Sammy Junior… not sure I’d be comfortable with Son of Sam sharing the house!
Daughter of Sam?
We’ve been a little quiet in here but hoping this will raise some new inspiration.
After taking the oven door to bits so I could clean and reseal the glass, I was inspired to do a little time-lapse of my last sourdough loaf rising - now that I can see through the glass so much clearer! It’s probably the first 10 minutes of the bake condensed into 14 seconds.
That’s awesome - how come it drops back a bit at 9 seconds in before continuing to rise? Is that the thermostat on the oven clicking out?
BTW, can anyone else hear the 2001: Space Odyssey theme in their head while watching this?
I think it’s steam escaping so it deflates a little before continuing… I like to think it’s a little deep breath before the final push.
Thanks. I cooked it on my gas BBQ on a terracotta tile with another one suspended above. The tile was about 380 degrees when I started.
What is your one cooking over? I can’t tell what is under the grill.
Its on my Kamado BBQ, charcoal under there, approx 450C
Wow - I’m aware of the big green egg - very jealous. So that’s a heat defectlor stone under the grill. And a perfect temp!
I’m getting so hungry looking at these pics!
With the aubergines - do you have to cook them first or just put them on the pizza raw?
This is a Kamado Joe, competitor to the green egg. Ridiculously expensive really, but I bought it with some voluntary redundancy money a while ago and it’s good for anything from slow cooked BBQ to pizza.
Oh heaven ! Yum yum yum
Oh that’s just showing off
I suppose you’re going to tell us it’s 25C and sunny too. But seriously, all the best settling in!
27, not a cloud in sight and I have found a gardening/diy shop that sells everything…
Back in London to pack up on Wed
Today’s bread, the basic recipe in my new book
You wrote a book! What’s it called?
Haha, unclear phrasing from me. I bought a new book, so now it’s my new book
It called “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast” by Ken Forkish
(a different Ken)
. I recently bought the same - the pizza dough I used in the photo a few posts back followed one of the recipes. It was a completely different animal to the other recipe I have - so much easier to work with and tasted better - very impressed with the book so far and hoping to try making some of the breads soon.
This is the overnight white loaf from the beginning of the book. I’m going to try one with a pre ferment next
Bit of an unusual one this. Finally got round to making Adrian Chiles soda bread recipe published when no one could get yeast. Not like any soda bread I’ve made before but it is really flavoursome, slices and toasts well. Marmite and black treacle? Strangely this works.
Combine 15g of bicarbonate of soda, 10g of salt, 5g of caraway seeds, a handful of porridge oats or any other random seeds you have. Then mix that with 400g of a combination of any flours you have. Stir in half a litre of any milk, soured with the juice of one lemon. Then melt together a generous tablespoon of black treacle and an equally generous teaspoon of Marmite in a small pan and stir that in, too. Lick the Marmitey/treacly pan clean; it’s a taste sensation. You should now have either a sloppy dough or stiff batter, depending on how you look at it. Bake at 190C (fan-assisted) for an hour in a one-litre loaf tin.
Haven’t seen that one. Dan Lepard is my go-to bread book author but I’ll keep an eye out.
Not much of a lockdown here but have made a few yeastie numbers.
Even the flower over here is different. It is all numbered so I am learning what makes the best bread.
However bread is cheap here and they make excellent rolls and loaves.
When we get more settled in i’ll fire up the bread oven and bake a loaf and roast a chicken.
Where did she get it from? I keep my starter pretty much white with an occasional drop of rye or spelt if I think it needs a boost. That looks like it’s a darker flour. Lovely and aerated!
Interesting that you have both the sourdough and the yeast. I’ve never used einkorn. Do you treat it similarly to spelt in terms of water adjustments etc?
Please can my ginger-bread be worthy of this thread? And can you spot Santa among this lot I baked yesterday:
Just from this recipe: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gingerbread_men_99096/amp
second photo, 2nd row, 1st column
1st being rightmost I guess!?
i meant leftmost
Sourdough loaf just out of the oven… having been making at least weekly since I’ve been working from home. Fairly safe recipe and I haven’t ventured far from it - based on a spelt starter, with white flour for the dough. I have dabbled with a seeded flour, which was nice, but think I might start to be a bit more adventurous with flavour additions.
I made my first ever Christmas cake. I used a handwritten recipe from the back of my mum’s old 1940s cookery book that she gave me many, many years ago. The only thing I did different is that the recipe only had one tablespoon of brandy whereas I fed it with lashings of brandy every few days for about a month before marzipanning it and then waiting till Christmas Eve to ice it. I’m really happy with the results and pleased I finally used my mum’s book … this is the first time I’ve ever cooked anything from it.
That’s wonderful - the cake as well as the provenance.
Years ago, when all I knew how to cook was an omelette, I asked my late grandmother how to make her soda bread so I could attempt to make it myself. She said: mix some flour, some sugar and some raisins and some soured milk with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
That’s lovely @Beige . So is being able to cook an omelette. Too many of mine end up like rubber. That’s my grandmother’s plate the cake is sitting on.
Keen baker but first time posting my bakes here, so be kind. Especially about the chipped plate - didn’t notice until after I took the photo and the dessert was eaten.
I’ve gone back to my Lockdown Sunday Bake Days, this time with the challenge of attempting bakes from around the world. This Sunday just gone I made knafeh, a Middle Eastern dessert made with shredded filo and mozzarella (suppose to akawi cheese but you can’t buy it in the UK, well not Sydenham nor Forest Hill High Streets), drenched in sugar syrup flavoured with rose and orange blossom water. It was absolutely delicious!
This Sunday I hope to make an attempt at Kenyan doughnuts.
sounds delicious, and believe me , no one is looking at the plate!
I used to make a sourdough where I replaced a third of the flour with spelt flour and then added blanched hazelnuts, sultanas and rosemary… I always considered it was a slightly savoury tealoaf that was delicious with cheese. Hmm… I might have to go back to it.
That’s definitely the way to do Christmas cake… lashings of booze. I’ve done it with amaretto in the past… strangely, all those who picked off the marzipan because they weren’t keen on almonds still ate all the cake!
I confess that several of my recipes are a bit like that. When friends ask for them, trying to work out what the actual quantities might be is difficult.
Forget the chipped plate, I love the tiles - is that a table or worktop? And love the idea of your challenge and seeing the results. Am now off to look up why Kenyan doughnuts are different from our traditional ones.
That plate isn’t chipped, its “experienced”!
Thanks! The tiles are leftovers from when we did up the bathroom. They somehow found their way into the kitchen during the big lockdown tidy up; the sugar syrup was pouring off the plate and the first thing I could find to protect the countertop (didn’t do a very good job). The doughnuts I’m making are called mahamri.
They look lovely! Can you share a link to the recipe in case anyone else is tempted?
Of course. This is the main recipe I used:
However, it wasn’t very good in giving instructions of how thinly to roll the dough etc. I found this site which has a very good instructional video.
The only thing I didn’t do was to leave the dough proving on the counter for 3-4 hours. I stuck it in the proving drawer until it doubled in size.
More home made pizza last night. My go to method now is to use a dry hot cast iron skillet on the hob, get the dough base on this while adding the toppings. When the base has that pizza oven look underneath , 2 min or so, put the skillet with its pizza under a hot grill to cook the mozzarella and toppings about 3 min.
Without a pizza oven this is the best I’ve managed after years of experimentation with pizza stones, domestic ovens etc.
That cleary works. Great work Thor. Oh I do so love pizza . Doncha just love pizza ? - food of the gods. Much as I enjoy take out pizza, if I do say so myself, I kinda prefer my own as I suspect you do too. Ah- roll on summer !!
After doing a Bread Ahead online zoom class in January on flatbreads & pitta breads I had another go at Pitta Bread today. First time was good and I enjoyed them but today’s were excellent if I say so myself did 50/50 mix of white & wholewheat.
I can recommend the online Bread Ahead classes, based in Borough Market so semi local. You don’t have to have screen turned on if you don’t wish but does help if want advice. My main learning point for these style breads was that you can’t knead too much! I got my dad vouchers for 2 for Christmas and he has gone a bit crazy and done 5 (newly retired/they had a sale in January).
Those look fabulous. Curious as to just how much kneading… as a sourdough “stretch/fold with lots of time”, I’m definitely a lazy kneader
Nice, we had pitta’s for dinner last night with greek salad to remind us of happy holidays of the past - not home made, but your pitta’s look the business
I think that’s where it was handy watching the expert do it as I then learnt I can properly let out any anger issues and slap the dough down etc. They said for 8 minutes. I did 10 just to be safe.
Ha… yes, indeed. My kneading is usually edging towards the 10 minutes so perhaps I’m not as lazy as I think.
When I made panettone a few years ago, I ended up having to apologise to my neighbour (and giving her one!) as it took 4 hours of slapping it down (2 x 2 hours) to incorporate all the sugar and butter into the dough. I’ve vowed that I’m never doing it again without a Kitchenaid.
Liked the look of this focaccia. Very spring like.
Has anyone made an Italian traditional Easter Colomba ? thinking of making one, looking for a go-to recipe.
That focaccia looks lovely.
Not done a Colomba but I’ve made panettone before which is a similarly enriched dough - and I think I used a recipe from Bakery Bits - who do also have a Colomba recipe.
My top tip would be to beg, borrow or steal a stand mixer if you don’t already have one. Making the panettone with hand mixing took two hours for the sponge and another two for the main dough to get the butter, eggs and sugar to incorporate successfully because I had to add in such small quantities. As soon as I tried to ‘rush’ it by adding more than 10g at a time, I ended up with an odd layer of sugar like a skin between the outside/inside of the dough.
Good luck… I look forward to seeing the results!
Now that is a work of art. Will you just look at that !!
Thanks for the tips- I do have a stand mixer so that can do most of the work - some recipes say 20 min kneading and 4 risings. Will post a pic when it’s done.
I bought one in a proper bakery in Genoa once. Unforgettable aroma, taste and texture. If I could only get somewhere close to that…
The panettone were worth the effort if it’s any encouragement. Bore absolutely no resemblance to anything I’ve ever bought in this country. I still have some of the Aroma Panettone flavouring I bought which I put through Christmas shortbread.
I’m sure your Colomba will be well worth it!
Are you going to try with sourdough or regular yeast? I turned my regular sourdough in into a ‘sweeter’ one by feeding it more frequently for a few days before using it. I’d never seen a rise like it. I finished kneading it at 11pm one night and left it in a huge bowl… to come through the next morning at 8am to find it looking like a muffin with a good inch overhanging the top.
Glad the starter is going from strength to strength. What did you feed it with ?
ah… that was my old starter. But the new one is going nicely - currently being fed on Duchy Organic white with a mix of stoneground wholemeal.
Without wanting to divert the thread, have any of you bought bread off the shelf after taking up baking?
Definitely. Baking takes time and effort and it is not often easy to keep up with demand.
Hannah, assuming that was answering my question; do you work from home? I forgot to mention that my question was aimed at those working from home who could take a minute from their schedule to check on their dough’s progress.
Yes, occasionally. I do find that ‘normal’ bread bloats me so I prefer sourdough. Making my own has turned me into a bit of a bread snob; I’m really not a fan of any of the Sainsburys bakery stuff. Obviously proper bread is dearer so encourages me to get back to baking - as I can buy a bag of flour (6 loaves) for less than the price of one loaf. If I’m out of bread at lunchtime, I’ll sometimes just make a piadina (flatbread) as that takes 30 minutes or so and bakes in a pan. But sometimes you really just want a bit of toast or something to dunk in soup.
It’s definitely been one of my high points of working from home - being able to bake more easily. I’d got out of the habit after various hobbies meant I had more weekends out of the house than not. I tend to make two loaves at a time - and freeze one pre-sliced.
I do mainly work from home at the moment but to be honest work has been so busy I barely get time to have lunch or even get a cup of tea, let alone check bread. My baking is strictly a weekend activity.
during the last year consistency for my basic loaf, a rye/whole meal/ white flour bread has improved to the point where we hardly ever want to buy other bread anymore. It’s become routine and so familiar that it’s little effort. I bake two every two weeks, one to eat, one to freeze.
Re time commitment:-
Start- 15 min prep time. get yeast started, mix flours, salt, etc while having breakfast or a coffee. Knead in machine. Leave to rise.
Two hours later shaping. 15 min Take risen dough. Separate into two. Stretch, roll, shape and put into loaf tins. Leave to rise.
90 min later put oven on, then bake for 35 min.
So it takes some attention but not a lot through a day when you are also getting on with other things.
But you don’t want to be in a hurry or feel it’s a chore, or interfering with more pressing priorities otherwise where’s the pleasure?
It’s a good question! I find a lot of “white loafs” give me really bad indigestion so I never really bought them but I did buy loafs from the bakery which were fine. Making a sourdough can take over a day if it is cold and you get a slow rise so sometimes it isn’t worth it but if pushed for time I make a loaf with fresh yeast which can be done if a few hours.
However over here bread is amazing and cheap. We have a local bread shop and all the supermarkets sell a huge variety of rolls, loafs and everything in between - most of them are “rustic” by which they mean sourdough but you can still get a white loaf if that’s your bag. Bread here is important and people buy it everyday. However it’s not worth a drive into town just for a loaf so 90% of the time I make my own. Of course I don’t work as such so I have time in between my hammock activities and digging holes in the clay to plant veg!
Would you mind sharing your basic white loaf recipe? Sounds like you’ve nailed it, and I’m still on the quest for a great white sandwich loaf!
Most of the recipes I’ve tried, using various ingredients/methods/kneading techniques always seem to come out fairly dense and flavourless
Yes I’ll happily do that. I’ll take a few pics when I do the next bake.
Baking today, Part one. Ingredients.
You’re going to need 2 standard loaf tins. Mine are about 12 x 22 cm and 6 cm high.
Dissolve 1.5 teaspoons sugar in 100 ml of boiling water. Then add 200 ml cold water. This gives you the right temperature for you to add 1.5 table spoons yeast. Leave for 10 min or so.
Meanwhile weigh total of 2 lb of flour. I use mostly strong white bread flour, but include 4 oz whole meal and 2 oz rye for flavour. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 0.5 teaspoons vitamin C powder (optional, but said to help with rising) and a good glug of olive oil.
Add the frothy yeast mixture to the flours. Make another 300 ml of warm water and add that too. Mix and knead for 5 min or so, by hand or machine.
The dough should be warm and a little sticky. Now leave it to rise in a warm place for a couple of hours. I put mine in a plastic bag with elastic over the opening. On a sunny windowsill or near a radiator.
Baking today Part 2. Shaping.
Take the risen dough and divide into 2 equal portions. Shape each into a ball.
Take a ball and push, pull, stretch to the size of a pizza. Don’t roll it, this part is all about stretching the dough.
Roll 4 corners in, and roll to the middle.
Then roll it all up into a ball again, before stretching into a long rectangle, the short side a bit less than the length of the tin. It should be getting very elastic by now. Now roll it up , keep air pockets out if you can.
When it’s rolled up, put it into the tin, seam side down, and do the second one. Put the two tins back in your warm place for 90 min or so.
Baking today part 3. Get baking.
When they’ve risen enough - I.5 - 2 hrs today, put the fan oven to 220. Drop a few ice cubes into the oven to create a good steamy atmosphere for the loaves. At 15 min turn down to 200 and turn the loaves round so you get even browning.
Cook for a further 20 min, that’s 35 in all.
Baking today. Part 4. Results
All good, decent rise, nicely browned. Give them half an hour to cool and there’s crusty bread with butter to be had!
Hope you’ve enjoyed my tips. If I was to pick one thing that has improved my bread making it would be the attention to stretching and shaping. It is this that gives the loaves a springy texture.
This is amazing thanks so much for taking the time to share! Looking forward to giving it a try enjoy your freshly made loaves!
I like that this recipe uses pounds, ounces , milliletres, and spoons
Those look amazing - thanks so much for taking the trouble to post this, I feel quite inspired.
That looks amazing! Congratulations!
So which of you baking lot are applying for the next series of Bake Off?
No thanks - I was at my limit with this one, it used up everything I know!
Good Friday is a day for baking hot cross buns
These are from Felicity Cloake’s recipe
Looks interesting. Can you give us a side view ?
Mnmm, it’s certainly a bit different.
I’ve had that happen to me when it’s been particularly hot. Still looks quite tasty!
Spill the beans… What did you do differently!?
I usually end up with something much thinner and crusty. This method makes a deeper, softer bread, using a very sticky dough, rising and cooking it in loaf tins rather than a shallow tray.
Hi all, I got given a bread banneton set which I’m never going to use - it’s got a lame tool too, would anyone like it? Collection from Honor oak!
Yes, please. I’ve sent you a DM