Thursday, 15 January 2015

Better bread, still windy

The malt bread is very nice (though I'd have done better to make the dough a bit wetter) but not what you'd want to use for sandwiches. It really needs making with sultanas as a proper malt loaf. So I made up a batch of wholemeal dough and put it in the engine room overnight; it was just fine this morning, well risen without being overdone and collapsing.

Meanwhile, we had a wild old night, loads of wind and waves splashing against the hull. The general effect was like being in a washing machine and we both felt pretty dopey this morning.

Checking email brought the message that the new over-65 NS&I bonds were available, and Sheila's been trying to get onto the website with no success at all, along with about 1 million other oldies. We suspect that four in the morning might be the best time to try.

We have a bit of a difference of opinion about how long we have to get our investment in. The pundits seem to be saying that the bonds will be available for at least a few weeks, but Sheila is cynical about that and wants to get the deal done as soon as possible.

Back to more fun stuff: for those who didn't see it, Yvonne posted a comment yesterday about a no-knead bread recipe. I've not tried it yet, but it sounds interesting once you get past the very American style of the author. Meantime, I've bought the Paul Hollywood book about baking and used some of his tips in this latest batch. It worked out well, so here's how I did it, using his advice part of the time and my own preferences at others.

I put 500g of strong wholemeal flour in a bowl with a teaspoon of sugar on the middle of the heap, a teaspoon of salt at one side and a teaspoon of Dove Farm quick yeast on the other. I added a tablespoon of olive oil and stirred the whole lot together with my right hand. I'd already mixed 250 ml of cold water with about 75 ml of boiling and, having made a well in the flour, poured most of it in.

Then I scrunched it all about with my right hand until it started to cohere and I could use both hands to begin kneading it in the bowl. It was very sticky at first, but became drier and elastic as I went on. Then I turned it out onto the Staron worktop without either flour or oil on it and kneaded it for another seven minutes.

I dribbled a bit of olive oil into the mixing bowl and used the lump of dough to wipe it all round. Turning the dough ball over left it with an oily top. Putting the lid on the bowl, I left it in the engine room overnight. This morning, it was well risen, as I say, and I was able to knock it back and cut it into eight pieces which I rolled into sausages and arranged on a baking parchment lined tray.

I'd warmed the oven on the minimum setting. Turning the gas off, I lightly dusted the sausages with flour and covered the tray with cling film. This was popped into the warm oven for about 45 minutes, by which time the rolls were well risen. Taking them out and putting them in the grill compartment above, I heated the oven to gas mark 7 and baked the rolls for 15 minutes, finishing off with them upside down for another 5.

Finally, here's a photo I took of the new entry wall using my new camera, subsequently transferred by wifi to this iPad:

Neat, huh?

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