I've become a bit of a bread obsessive. I don't know whether it's the triumph of my barm loaf the other week or reading Jane Mason's All you Knead is Bread and Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf just before I fall asleep at night, or simply that I've got a bit more time on my hands at the moment, but I've definitely got the bug. I'm even thinking of making a sourdough starter - yep, things are getting serious.
I've started stalking all sorts of artisan bakers on Twitter too. There seems to be something intrinsically lovely about a baker - they are all terribly generous with their comments and advice, and invariably make nice comments about my amateurish efforts. Many of them are also very inspirational - especially the people who are making good bread for people in their local area, or who are teaching others to make bread. People like Elizabeth Mahoney at One Mile Bakery in Wales, Blackbird Bread in London and Edesia's Kitchen in Derbyshire. I think they must get all the bad karma out with lots of serious kneading in the early hours, although I was disabused of the notion that they are all listening to soothing hippy music in the wee small hours by Blackbird Bread, who tells me that Leonard Cohen is too soporific for early morning kneading. My soundtrack is usually either screeching children or Eddie Mair - must find myself some other sounds to knead to - any suggestions gratefully received.
Anyway, this week's loaf is a cider loaf. I've read a few recipes for bread using apples and/or cider, so I thought to start with I'd simply substitute the beer in the barm loaf with cider and see how that went. Well the answer seems to be - fine! I only have one photo of the completed loaf as I seem to have managed to set my camera to take a movie of a loaf of bread, which is not that riveting, to be honest.
The poolish looks thinner than the one I made with beer, and the final loaf seems a little bigger. Inside it is soft and lovely. It tastes sweeter than the barm loaf made with beer - less of a beery tang, although it still has that lovely smell. Now, I am going to say something a bit heretical here. I made some cream of tomato soup to go with it for dinner last night (that's not the heretical bit). When I was little, Heinz cream of tomato soup was our 'get well' meal when we'd been poorly, and we ate it, as one did in the 1970s, with white sliced bread. Well, my cider loaf with tomato soup gave me a complete flashback to that - something about the softness of the bread (what smallest breakfastboy would call 'bread that's soft like a mouse') and the sweetness of the flavour reminded me of being all comforted and cosied by my mum and a tin of soup. By this, I do not mean that the bread tasted like sunblest, heaven forbid. Just that it's a comforting sort of soft and squishy loaf. It also makes fabulous toast.
I think next week I might try the apple and oat loaf from Dan Lepard's Handmade Loaf. But that requires a leaven, so I'm going to have to get a starter going first. Stay tuned!
I've made the cider and spelt loaf from Nige's Kitchen Diaries II several times since Christmas, and it is - if I say so myself - quite amazing: loaf-devoured-in 20-minutes amazing. I start it at lunch, then fit the kneading and proving in during the arvo, baking it for supper. It and Tapa's wholemeal sunflower loaf (which I've only recently discovered) are my breads of the moment.ReplyDelete
Oh I love a bit of spelt - will have to try that. I haven't got KD2 (yet) - have had to resist the urge to just KEEP buying cook books... I'm still mourning the loss of Tapa's courgette and carrot loaf. I'm thinking about doing one of their baking courses actually - do you fancy it? I like the look of the Italian bread one. Or I could be persuaded by sourdough... xDelete
this looks beautiful! I adore your son's comment about it being as soft as a mouse, that is gorgeous!!ReplyDelete
Our get well soon food was also Heinz tommy soup or a hard boiled egg in a mug, fork mashed with butter and some buttery toast on the side. You've taken me back too....... thank you :)
My pleasure. Honestly, it was positively Proustian.Delete
Littlest has inherited his father's gift for words. I was making a rye loaf this morning and wished he was hear to give his description of the wet dough that the book described as 'like a mud pie...' You can probably imagine.
Your bread looks great! I make most of the bread we eat, although I have to admit I often use the bread maker to make the dough during the week. As a result my children call it "roly-poly bread", they like to watch the paddle go round as it mixes the dough.ReplyDelete
Roly-poly bread - how sweet! Yes, the breadmaker is great for dough, isn't it? In fact, I probably use mine more for dough than for actual baking I think. Especially pizza dough. I'm enjoying doing some kneading for a change, but the machine's a lifesaver when you're busy.Delete
Yeah I never use mine for baking, the crust is rubbish. I'd like to have a go at a sour dough starter, let me know how it goes.Delete
I will - it's bubbling away, but I'm not sure what to do with it yet. I've found a River Cottage recipe that looks easy so maybe I'll start with that and take it from there.Delete
I feel sort of hesitant to tell you about this one, MrsB, as you are being such an artisan! But it is fun, easy and your boys will love it, I think. It's Bernard Clayton's Chopped Apple Bread. I found a link with the American recipe hereReplyDelete
I've been doing it for years, using the bread machine. I just tip all the chopped pieces in and switch on. My boys loved the messy chopping involved, and it is so easy!
Oh not at all - don't be fooled. I'll definitely give that one a try. Thanks for the link.ReplyDelete