Making bread for the first time is scary! No matter what any one says, because they will all tell you it’s easy, and actually it is quite easy, but if it’s your first time, everything is such an unknown experience – the mixing, the kneading, the resting, and constantly waiting to see if it all went ok!? And we can't all be a Paul Hollywood our first time round! 😂
But there is nothing quite like seeing your homemade bread baking inside the oven and filling the kitchen with tantalizing fragrances.
The smell of your own fresh bread baking, is an indescribable delight of senses.
Nowadays, so many people take a loaf of bread for granted, like everything else, that has become very commercialized, and our lives so fast paced. We walk into a shop and there are more than ten options of bread for sale, pre-cut and packaged, and quite often packed with so many extras, preservatives, sweeteners and a long ingredients list.
My plan is to try make my own bread instead of depending on shops and I have found the best advice is to just start somewhere and give it a go. Choose a simple recipe, so you can get a hang of the process and techniques involved, although I didn’t start with the simple white loaf, as the book suggested, I found an exciting loaf a few pages further in, with a few more ingredients for a mixed seeded loaf.
Then, in usual Bridgette style I changed half the ingredients, haha!! Oh no, as I am known for being terrible at following a recipe.😝
Good news though! I got the hang of the kneading, which was actually such fun, and a good arm workout, even though it started off very very sticky, I slowly added more flour as I went, which seemed to work out in the end.
I then had to let it to sit and double in size, although I was aware that I wasn’t using strong white flour but instead quite a lot of brown wholemeal flour, so the rise might not be as much as expected.
I followed the book instructions for gently poking it, and if it springs back immediately its not ready and needs longer, if it springs back slowly , the dough is ready and if it doesn’t spring back and stays with a finger hole in it then it’s over proved. I has very nervous about this step in the process, thinking I might have over proved my bread!! My plan was to still bake it even if this happened, because my partner happily eats most things!
The ingredients I used here included:
50g brown sugar
2 tsp dried yeast
175ml warm water
360ml almond milk with 2 tblsp cider vinegar
3 tblsp honey
40g olive oil
30g flax seeds
30g sesame seeds
30g sunflower seeds
500g wholemeal flour
300g white flour
After letting it sit and rise for about 1 hr 15 minutes, I then knocked it back, really not sure if I did this correctly , but you basically punch the dough in the bowl, this knocks out the excess gas as the yeast will continue to ferment and produce gas. I floured my hands and kneaded it only about a minute, until smooth, soft and elastic, as the book instructed.
I then placed it in the prepared tins which I lightly coated with olive oil as I don't use dairy, but you could line them with butter if you prefer. I only had 1 rectangular loaf tin and 1 circular silicone case, so I experimetned with both.
They were baked at 190 degrees celcius for about 45 minutes until the crust brown, golden and crispy. The most exciting part was tapping the loaf base as they do on all the baking shows to see if it sounds hollow.
I WAS SO HAPPY......they worked!
And honestly, they tasted really good, I love that they are filled with seeds! I would prefer to not even include as much sugar in this recipe as they were quite sweet loaves, considering the original recipe listed175g, to which I only used 50g here, but including the honey adds a great amount of sweetness. 😄 Other recipes I looked up only used 1 tsp of sugar, so on to the next experiment!
If you have any questions, give me a shout, I am happy to help, and in the mean time I have many more recipes and flavours to experiment with.
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Lots of love,
Bridgette from Hyper Health Nut,
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