Here is the bread recipe I’ve been using successfully:
- 500g wholemeal flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar/honey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- approx 350ml warm water
- 1 package easy blend (quick yeast)
I put mix the dry ingredients together, then add oil, honey and water and use my hand held mixer to mix it all together. I put the dough into a loaf tin lined with oiled baking paper, sprinkle a little flour on top (just for aesthetics), cover with a clean tea towel, and let it rise til doubled in size (an hour+ depending on room temperature). Bake at 220C/ 425F/ Gas mark 7 (200C for fan) for about 35 mins until loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath (out of tin). Makes a loaf around 850g in weight.
When using spelt flour I use the same recipe, but spelt usually takes a bit more water. the mixture starts out very sticky and as it is mixed (with spoon or mixer, spelt does not need kneeding) goes from sticky gloopy mess to firmer dough. It rises very quickly – is ready to bake in about 25 minutes. Oven temperature needs to be lower for spelt (180C/ 370F) – making it easy to combine baking a loaf with an oven-cooked meal!
I’m trying a half spelt/ half wholemeal mix at the moment and that seems to be going down well. I’m also experimenting with adding in dried milk powder, simply because I have some that is about to go past the use-by date!
I’m still using easyblend yeast at the moment after I had a disaster with the dried yeast that you have to add to water with sugar (it rose a bit but tasted foul – in fact the remaining yeast in the container doesn’t smell quite right so maybe it is going stale?). It works well and is a bit quicker to use but does add a couple of pence to each loaf.
And now for the science part. . . as I understand things so far:
- salt slows the action of the yeast down a bit, so an increase in salt needs an increase in rising time
- sugar helps the yeast work, also gives a thicker, crisper crust
- milk gives a softer crust
- fat gives a richer flavour, also slows the yeast a little.
My challah bread was a success last week – I will post the recipe but only after I’ve tried it again!
If you have successful bread recipes I’d love to hear about them. . .