Monday, 29 April 2013

Bread making

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Bread making is an age old art and for many baking a set of fresh loaves is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of life, sinking into a world of flours, bread tins and grains.

Growing up we were only allowed home made bread - any shop bought bread was banned. At the time being deprived of pre-sliced white bread seemed very unfair, but now I'm a truly grateful to have gained a taste for grains, wholemeal and fresh steaming loaves straight out of the oven.

It's a myth that bread making will take up lots of time - in truth it will take up perhaps 15 minutes of your actual time, but your bread will need to rise for two hours in a warm spot.

An easy loaf to bake is rye bread. Rye bread is made with rye flour, producing a rich, dense and flavored bread. It will keep for longer than average bread, and being a form of sour dough is lower in glutton that other breads. Delicious with eggs, jams and ideal for sandwiches. A perfect loaf for any beginner.

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200g of Rye Flour
200g of Strong wholegrain bread flour
7g sachet of yeast
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of maple syrup

  1. Tip the flours, yeast and salt into a bowl. Pour 250ml of luke warm water and add your maple syrup into the bowl to form a dough. Sprinke flour across your work surface and tip out onto to knead (see here) for 10 minutes until the dough forms a smooth ball. It will be quite a heavy dough as rye flour has less gluten than conventional flours, so may not be as elastic as you'd expect
  2. Place the dough into a large well oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hour, or until the dough as doubled in size
  3. Tip the dough back onto your well floured work surface and knock out any air by kneading for 1 minute. Shape into a round ball, place back in the bowl and leave for a further hour (or until it has doubled in size)
  4. Heat your over to 200 degrees celsius. Take a baking tin, line with baking paper and place your bread onto it. Slash a few incisions across the top of your round dough and place in the over for 30 minutes. Tap the bottom of the loaf and look for a hollow sound to ensure the bread is cooked through. Smoother a slice with butter and sit down with a cup of tea.
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