One of the recipes he did which I’ve never attempted is malt loaf. Whenever I’ve had shop bought (and there seems to be just the one brand available in supermarkets!) I’ve always found it a dry, chewy and not very tasty. I thought I’d give it a try – surely I could do better!
350g/12oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for flouring
100g/3½oz strong wholemeal flour
14g/½oz fast action yeast
250ml/9fl oz warm water
1 tbsp warm honey, to glaze
Place the sugar, malt extract, treacle and butter in a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.
Mix the flours, salt, yeast and sultanas in a mixing bowl.
Pour in the cooled malt syrup mixture and the warm water. Mix thoroughly; the mixture will be soft and sticky.
Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead gently for a few minutes to bring the mixture together.
Grease two 450g/1lb loaf tins and divide the mixture among them. Smooth the mixture with the back of a spoon so that the top is smooth and level. Cover each tin with a plastic bag so that it is loose and not touching the top of the tin. Leave for a couple of hours, or until the dough has risen to the top of the tins.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Remove the plastic bags and bake for 30-40 minutes. If the top of the loaf starts to brown too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil and continue baking.
Remove from the oven and brush the top with warm honey to glaze. Cool on a wire rack.
If you’ve been following our Cakes & Bakes posts recently you’ll know that I made a batch of baguettes a fortnight or so ago. I proved them in an accordion-pleated tea towel but a baguette tray would be so much better – much less fiddly.
We visit the Lake District a few times per year and a highlight of my car journey there is stopping off at Booths Supermarket in Windermere (Pathetic? Moi?). They stock lots of things from local producers and sell other items that aren’t available at our local Morrisons in Todmorden. A stones throw from Booths is Lakeland‘s flagship store which is the highlight of my return journey home. This baguette tray is already on my shopping list!
We found a great one on the Breadtopia website. What makes it extra useful is that Eric Rusch guides you through with an accompanying video. Being able to see his “stretch & fold” no-knead method in action is really helpful!
530 gms whole spelt flour
350 gms water
10 gms salt
3 tbs honey or sugar or 2 tbs agave
¼ cup sourdough starter
Follow the directions in Breadtopia‘s 2-part video below, then bake the loaf at 230°C for 45 minutes or until the bread’s internal temperature is 90-95°C
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Regular readers will know that we’re a little bit obsessed with real bread – making it, baking it and eating it. I made a few attempts at getting a starter going – sadly, none managed to survive for long. Our friends over at Snygg sent us a portion of their rye starter in the post and, (touch wood) nearly two months on, it’s still going great guns! After using & feeding it a few times I divided it and developed one half into a white starter so we have a bit of variety. We’ve been enjoying a regular supply of home-made bread – baguettes, rye loaves, ciabatta, seeded boules…
We have an ever-growing collection of artisan bread-baking books to give us inspiration & ideas. Some of the recipes are used again & again – these are some favourites:
We love everything about this image from the Nkuku website. The collection of natural mango wood chopping boards, the home-made loaves and the great composition. For more examples of this gorgeous photography (and stock!) visit their online shop – they’re on Notonthehighstreet too.