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Do you bake your own bread? Talk to me!

(13 Posts)
Suddengeekgirl Tue 22-Oct-13 14:29:09

Do you bake your own bread?

i'm thinking of starting or at least trying. I don't get on well with bog standard sliced stuff - think its because of all the 'extra' stuff that gets put in on an industrial scale.

anyhow can you tell me more about your bread making

how often?
which recipe?
how do you fit it into the day?

thanks! smile

gaggiagirl Tue 22-Oct-13 15:15:51

once a week.
I use a basic Jamie Oliver recipe that can also be pizza dough.
I sometimes add garlic or rosemary or olives.
I knead by hand but its not really so time consuming. I only work part time so I guess I do have time. I really enjoy it.
I'll find the recipe and link it for you.

gaggiagirl Tue 22-Oct-13 15:59:18

as promised

4merlyknownasSHD Tue 22-Oct-13 16:57:31

Once a week, by hand not with a machine. It provides a means of getting rid of stress!

Recipe here (Half Sponge Method), although I switch flours around a bit (but almost always 50gms Spelt). This is for a loaf weighing 2lb when finished, rather than the dough weighing 2lb, so you would need a LARGE 2lb loaf pan. It also works perfectly well proved in a banneton and cooked on a bake stone instead of in a loaf pan.


For the sponge:
450ml Water
1 level dsp Dried Active Yeast
50gm Spelt Flour
300gm Wholemeal Bread Flour

For the dough:
350gm Strong White Bread Flour
1½ level tsp Salt
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Golden Syrup
* * * * *
1 handful each of Pumpkin Seed, Linseed and Sunflour Seed.


Take a large mixing bowl, then pour in the water and yeast. Add the Spelt and Wholemeal Flour and mix up well with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with cling-film and leave overnight.

When you are ready to make your dough, add the White flour, Salt, Oil, Golden Syrup and seeds to the bubbling, fermenting brew from the night before and mix the whole lot into a big, stick clump of dough. Scrape the clag from your hands (into the bowl), cover with a Tea Towel and leave for 10 minutes. Knead the dough for 5 – 10 minutes to build up the gluten strands and until the dough has a uniform sheen over the surface.

Leave to prove in the bowl in a warm place and cover the bowl with clingfilm.

Grease your 2lb loaf pan with butter (block, not spreadable) and then dust with flour. Knock back the dough (gentle knead) and stretch into a rectangle slightly narrower then the length of a 2lb loaf pan and about 1” thick. Roll up tightly and place, seam side down in the loaf pan. Cover with oiled clingfilm and then a Tea Towel and leave to rise, in a warm place for around ¾hr, or until it has almost doubled in size.

Pre-heat the oven for 10 minutes at 240º C (220º C fan-assisted) or Gas Mk 9. Dust the top of the loaf with flour then slash the top with a serrated knife. Place a dish of hot water in the bottom of the oven to give off steam during baking. This produces a better crust. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200º C (180º C fan-assisted) Gas Mk 6 or 7and bake for a further 20 – 25 minutes until dark golden brown, remove from the oven, turn out and cool on a wire rack. You can test to see if the bread is cooked by tapping on the base of the loaf. It will sound hollow if cooked through.

During the working week, I start off the sponge before going to work in the morning, and finish off in the evening.

HowlerMonkey Tue 22-Oct-13 17:00:13

Preparing bread takes no time at all, and I work full-time. Baking it tends to happen on a saturday morning, after an overnight proving step.

I do enjoy it. Ten minutes of kneading by hand = destressy smile

nicename Tue 22-Oct-13 17:02:26

I make a couple of loaves a week. It's really simple. I tend to make the dough before school or just before the school run, when it can be left for a few hours, then finish it off later. Its really only the second prove and bake that's time-sensitive.

Master a plain white then branch out, experimenting with different flours.

Teapot13 Tue 22-Oct-13 17:58:57

I am just starting out like you -- I have done a few loaves. This is a great recipe -- extremely easy and lots of variations. It takes a bit of trial and error, like everything else. The baker who popularized it, Jim Lahey, has a book if you want to go deep. He was a guest on Martha Stewart so you can watch him bake the bread on YouTube if you want, as well.

nicename Tue 22-Oct-13 18:41:03

Saindbos strong white is very good (I have it on good authority that proper bakers use it in fancy restaurants!)

Bagels are good too - not too tricky but the look difficult! I have even made heart shaped ones. Rolls are very easy and you can make them look pretty by making shapes/letters on top in seeds.

Then you get into the sweet stuff - danish, cinnabons, donuts...

aroomofherown Tue 22-Oct-13 18:46:34

I've just finally mastered a plain white loaf last weekend. I make it on a Saturday as I am up early anyway, and end up baking it around lunchtime.

Only problem is that it doesn't last long because it's so more-ish. Looking forward to branching out in the next few weeks though if I can do another plain white successfully.

Suddengeekgirl Tue 22-Oct-13 20:18:47

Ooooh! Thank you! brew

Will need to have a proper read of these recipes when GBBO finishes! smile

zanz1bar Wed 23-Oct-13 10:00:40

500g strong flour
1/2 packet of easy blend yeast
1 tsp salt
300/350g water

put bowl on scales, water is sloshed in so varies a bit.
mix and LEAVE for10mins/30/or an hour/4 hours really as long as you like.
at some point(if you remember) take dough out, stretch it and roll back into a ball and dump back into bowl.
Leave it for 4 hours/ 8 hours or over night.

When ready to bake...
form dough into ball
place le crueset style casserole into hot oven for 10 mins till hot then dump dough into dish, lid on in oven for 30/40 mins.

Voila crusty, tasty , fresh bread EASY
No Knead Bread

nicename Thu 24-Oct-13 14:56:12

You don't need to knead a grant loaf. Google the recipe. It comes out absolutely fine!

I'm a Dan Lepard girl myself - he doesn't knead either - its more pulling the ball of dough over a lightly oiled board. This also means that you aren't adding extra flour to the dough. I'm sure there must be a youtube video showing the technique. Some people prefer to thump the dough though!

I love seedy bread. Also, to get a nice crisp crust, pop the loaf in the oven then pour about 1cm deep boiling water into a hot tray on the bottom of the oven and close the door quickly to keep the steam in.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 24-Oct-13 20:22:36

I'm a Dan Lepard fan too. When I do the sponge method I mix the sponge in the morning before going to work, then finish it when I come back after picking up the kids. Or I mix the sponge in the evening and leave it overnight, then finish it in the morning. Or I do a "normal loaf" in the afternoon - start after coming back from school, baked by after dinner.

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