“There is not a thing that is more positive than bread.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky. Part two of my bread making odyssey

Last week I wrote about baking by hand my first ever loaf of bread. It was instantly addictive and so I was back in the kitchen this weekend to have another go.

There is just something amazing about the alchemy of bread making. Yes, I know it is basic chemistry and that the active yeast will cause the creation of air in the mixture etc etc. But I love the joy and delight of leaving a smallish mound of dough in a bowl for an hour or so, only to return to see it doubled in size.

For my second break making endeavour I decided to really go for it with a wholemeal loaf and a honey and walnut loaf, once again following the recipes in James Morton’s book Brilliant Bread.

The wholemeal loaf felt pretty straightforward – this was mostly the same as the white loaf I made last week, only with different flour. No kneading once again, but several rounds of proving, shaping etc resulted in a deliciously yummy bake.

The honey and walnut loaf was potentially more of a challenge as this required, shock, some kneading. But I thought, you know, what’s the worst that can happen? It would be irritating to lose the ingredients if it didn’t work out, but that’s all. So I rolled my sleeves up and got stuck in.

How delighted I am that I did – it was not nearly as bad as I thought. Sure, my shoulders are a bit sore this morning – they are rather weak from a couple of years of ‘frozen shoulder’ a little while back. But the effort was definitely worth it.

Here are both loaves in all their glory. Yummmmmm!!

And in between bread making activities, I knocked up one of my favourite cakes – lemon drizzle. I have a friend coming for coffee this morning and wanted to be able to serve something homemade. Mary Berry’s recipe is a joy, and always 100% reliable.

Mind you, I did not really bargain on the cake being quite so tasty – Hub and I had to keep on making sure it was ok, with the result that by the end of the day it looked like this:

 

What a good job the recipe is for two loaves in one go. 😂😂😂

 

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” – Robert Browning

28 thoughts

  1. I have just read your blog and my mouth is really watering. Your loaves look really professional. I have got the book as a result of your first post so I’ll look forward to having a go! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What wonderful loaves, they look gorgeous. And for the lemon drizzle cake… of course you needed to make sure it is ok….. Can I ask, where do you leave the bread dough to rise? do you have a warm place? I keep thinking , if I do one, where to put it to rise.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You’re hooked! And what a good addiction to have. When I was a kid, my grandmother baked all the bread for the farm. So once a week or so, there’d be a dozen or more loaves all lined up on the counter–heaven!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The other day, as I meandered through the aisles of our local grocery store, I found that most of our food is “ready to eat” or almost “ready to eat.” We have pie crust ready to fill with canned fruits, we have frozen lasagna and pizza waiting for the heat of an oven to bring it to life…and then there are the puddings, cookies, cakes, and many types of breads. We live in a world where there is no understanding of the steps that it takes to make something from “scratch.” And by scratch we mean flour that is ground to perfection, along with fresh milk and eggs. And that is a step up from the grinding process. I share you excitement of making bread. There are endless possibilities in our kitchens. When we rely on a grocery store, we generally get the same breads and muffins – product change is expensive. But in our kitchens, we can change at will with new recipes and ideas. Hugs from my kitchen to yours…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steve and I try to cook from scratch as much as possible. I am delighted to have added breadmaking to our repertoire. I think many people have forgotten how delightful it is to knock up a delicious meal in less than 30mins from a few basic but wholesome ingredients. And in contrast, the slow but reliable process of making bread is an opportunity to turn one’s focus away from busyness and a frantic daily life. As you say, it is in our hands, literally, to choose differently and anew. I am raising my teacup to you from my kitchen table, dear friend! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I must try some of the no-knead bread. I have made bread a couple of times but I am an unenthusiastic cook and rely on my bread-maker for our loaves. Your baking, both loaves and cakes looks so delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think there needs to be an ‘either/or’ with hand made v machine made bread. The latter is very convenient – bread made overnight and ready for breakfast is heaven! And the former is simply a nice thing to do. A bit like knitting a sweater even though you can easily buy them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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