I bloomin' love Bread ( not the pop group - though they are lovely too!) ......
I guess it all started with my Dad who worked at Lewis' Ltd in Birmingham( its now The Square Peg pub) We would visit him every Saturday and be greeted by the smell of baking, the floury footsteps on the bakery floor plus the whirring of the big mixing machine prior to the doughs kneading, proving and eventual baking .My Dad was once commended by a doctor on his back muscles who assumed he worked out regularly ''I had to tell him it was because I regularly lifted 100 weight bags of flour !'' - those were the days when Health and Safety didn't exist!
Whenever , we made bread at home and it came to kneading Dad would always say ''Imagine its someone you don't like'' - I was never very good at this but my red headed sister was an expert!
My Dad was use to doing multiples for weights such as bread, cakes and pastries so one memorable Easter ,although he'd reduced a hot cross bun recipe as much as he could for us .Fab Hubby and I ended up going into the street and handing out Hot Cross Buns to anyone who would have them- we got some very funny looks!
I commented to him one day that sliced,commercial bread didn't seem as substantial as it use to be ''Its all bloody water nowadays '' he said .
Things have certainly changed since Dads day as I found out last week upon looking up Bread recipes - Good old Delia ! No kneading - thank god! There's a small amount of moulding but it is minimal! It took three tries- the first was terribly salty - but I got there( as you can see from the first photo)
Delia Smiths Wholemeal Bread Recipe
450g Strong Stoneground Wholemeal Flour (extra for moulding and sprinkling)
2 level teaspoons ( or one 7g packet of dried yeast)
1 level dessertspoon of fine salt ( I used rock salt and it was too salty ,so I had to reduce it to taste)
350ml hand hot water
*buttered 2lb loaf tin*
*greased polythene bag*
Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl, then all you do is simply sprinkle on the salt and easy bake yeast, using a spatula mix everything together thoroughly.
Make a well in the centre and pour in all the hand-hot water. Then mix the water into the flour gradually to form a dough: the exact amount of water you'll need will depend on the flour.
Finish off by mixing with your hands until you have a smooth dough that leaves the bowl clean – there should be no bits of flour or dough remaining on the sides of the bowl and, unlike pastry, it is better to have too much water than too little.
Now transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and stretch it out into an oblong, then fold one edge into the centre and the other over that.
Now put the dough into the tin and sprinkle the surface with a generous dusting of flour, then place it into the roomy greased polythene bag.
Close it with a clip and leave it to rise for 1½ to 2 hours at room temperature (but this could be much quicker depending on the warmth or the room) until the centre is about 2cm above the height of the tin.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
When the dough has risen to above the top of the bread tin, remove the bag and bake near the centre of the oven for 40 minutes.
When the bread is cooked, loosen the edges with a palette knife and turn it out on to a cloth to protect your hands. Then tap the bottom of the loaf with your fingertips to check if it is cooked through as you tap you should hear a hollow sound.
If you like it crusty then return the bread, out of its tin, upside down to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes to crisp the base and sides.
Cool the bread on a wire rack, and never put it away or freeze it until it is absolutely cold
And as for Bread ,the pop group........