Adventures in bread

Currently my other half works on Sundays, so to make me feel a bit more active and less lazy, I am having a doing things day every sunday, this could be a film day, or a gaming day, or making things in the kitchen, chores or crafting.

This last Sunday, due to the weather, I stayed in and made bread, which as frequent readers will know, is something of a new passion with me. Not saying i’m brilliant but wowzers i’m enjoying learning.

I decided at the beginning of the year, to go alongside adopting an Orangutan (Okto), I would also try and help out their habitats by not consuming Palm Oil. Now for those who don’t know (and me, cos I decide to do things then work out HOW i’m going to cope) Palm Oil is in EVERYTHING!!!

I mean it: cakes, make up, bread, crisps, biscuits, peanut butter, toothpaste, money (actually, funny story, if the vegetarians/vegans get their way in relation to the new notes we in the UK are using, then it’ll be palm oil which is the fall back from Gelatine – so if that happens, my government will be doing everything they can to destroy the homes of these creatures both coming and going- nice huh?)….so yes, as I was saying, I decided to do this, then realised I’m going to have to give up a fair bit and amend my diet accordingly.

The most fun part of this has been that I have started experimenting with bread making. I haven’t done this for years – used to do a lot when I was very young with my dad but apart from that, the whole idea seemed depressing, countless time mixing, proving, shaping, beating, second proving etc…..which, I really couldn’t be bothered with. But then my dad (as ever the sensible cooking one) told me to check the processor I have, cos that came with a bread attachment and tin so maybe that’d make life easier……..Boy, was he right. The processor I have (a magimix 5200XL) actually comes with a pan you put right into the mixer so everything is mixed and proved in the processor, then you just take the tin out, leave out to second prove then throw into the over – what’s not to love?

first loaf in tin

Ok, before I forget, you also need to take the handle off of the pan before you bake, plastic just doesn’t taste nice!

For my first loaf, I just stuck with a very basic bread, no extras, just follow the recipe and then whilst proving, I hovered over the bread like an overcautious parent! Still, it came out pretty well – well, for a first attempt anyway. I would say it’s not perfect, I think I need more water possibly as it was a bit hard. I have no problem with this but gives me something to work on!

first loaf after baking

The only problem I discovered was that my bread bin was actually too shallow for such bread…..well, I say bread bin, but I actually have no container deep enough for this – I blame Rose’s tins getting smaller year on year for this! So this lead me to try and hunt out all other tins I had…..which led to this:

bread poppy

These are my poppyseed sandwich loaves, the reason that there is two is I realised only after the first prove I was still using the massive recipe for the quite large tin, so this mix got split into 2 and then thrown into these at the last minute. More water added to go with the egg glaze I gave the dough and the feel was much better.

Next I decided I wanted to try different flavours of bread. I’m obsessed with cheese (well, who isn’t) and thought as i’d got some amazing fruit chilli jams chilli jam

So decided to make a cheesy loaf, I had some crispy onions left over from a curry ages ago so decided to add those to the mix itself, then before it went into the over, grate some parmesan over the top and see where that took me.

cheese and crispy onion

I liked this, but the flavour is just not strong enough, I like the mix of flavours but I feel like more is needed, I like the subtle flavour but for good cheese, this needs to be more robust.

seeded

This was the last loaf I made, a mixed seeds one. I went back to the larger tin and decided to just throw in some seeds I had around to add a bit of texture and flavour. Not to bad if I don’t say so myself!

I’m actually really enjoying this so far. There’s a lot of recipes and flavours I want to experiment with but next week I’m starting slimming world (anything to be less like Jabba the Hutt) so bread will be a bit of a no-no. I am allowed wraps though and some bread so no doubt, my experiments will move into making wraps (again, you’d be amazed at how many have palm oil in them) and the like. Wish me luck!

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