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Friday, 20 June 2008

Better Bread


I’m not convinced that my bread machine makes a very good job of making a decent loaf. I agree that by automating the process it might make the job a little bit easier. All you have to do is fill the machine with ingredients, close the lid, press a button and “bleep, bleep” it’s finished in an hour or so. The only problem is that you end up with small square loaves with a hole in the bottom left buy the mixing paddle. I also find that the texture is not as open as I’d like it to be. The mixing paddles are by no means equipped to really pull and stretch the dough enough to allow decent size air pockets. The result can often be quite spongy for white bread and too dense for brown.

It is possible to just use the machine for the kneading process and then remove the dough to be shaped by hand for more rustic style loaves, but there’s still that problem with the texture.

The machine is largely redundant now, as I’ve rediscovered the joys of making bread completely by hand. Don’t ever look at it as a chore as the whole process is very therapeutic and doesn’t take up all of your time. For the most part, the dough happily sits unattended, for long periods while it is rising, leaving you to other things.

Make kneading the dough a pleasure, all that pummelling can certainly help you take out any frustrations and gives your arms a good work out, plus it’s also good fun getting messy and covered in flour!

I made a nice big batch of dough using a combination of wholesome spelt and brown flours, mixed together with some white for lightness. My loaves weren’t strictly traditional or rustic as I used fast acting dried yeast rather than fresh, but the end result certainly looked and tasted the part.

I’ll try to work out the recipe properly at a later date, as I had to improvise from one I found that used fresh yeast. Also, as I used a mixture of different flours, that affected the quantity of liquid that I needed.

1 comments:

Doug DuCap said...

That looks truly wonderful! You're so right about the pleasures of making bread by hand.

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