Category Archives: Bread Time

Seeded Spelt Loaves

Since I went on the bread making workshop  I’ve been wanting to try out some breads using non-traditional flours.  I’ve had some Wholegrain Spelt Flour in the cupboard for a while now and was wondering what to bake with it.   Spelt is an ancient grain, a cousin to wheat although  it contains a broader range of nutrients and is high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, folic acid, E, manganese,  copper, and magnesium.   It also contains a wide range of minerals and is a good source of fibre .

I used this recipe from Dove’s Farm  except that I made 4 mini loaves, omitted the nuts and added a mix of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flaxseeds to the top as well as the dough.  Before adding the seeds on top I egg washed the dough to give a nice sheen.

Speltflour

 

The dough was a little harder to work with and didn’t rise with as much aplomb as my usual wheat-based flour doughs but nevertheless the resulting Spelt bread rose well enough and was delicious.

Spelt loaf ND

 

We’ve enjoyed these loaves with a numbers of toppings and fillings, from cheeses to honey and even my jam!  It was also delicious toasted the next morning.  Even the tiddler enjoyed a slice  or two, although I think she’s a little confused about why I would put seeds in her bread when we usually put them in the garden!   

I popped one of the loaves into the freezer, the great frozen abyss that is my old chest freezer, I cannot wait till I have an upright one with drawers!

If you want to try using non-traditional flours, Spelt is a great one to start with,  it has a lovely nutty flavour and with the addition of seeds a very healthy alternative to traditional wheat.

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The Artisan Bakehouse

On Saturday, myself and a group of friends visited The Artisan Bakehouse located between Steyning and Ashurst in West Sussex for a bread making workshop.  The Artisan Bakehouse is owned and run by Les and Louise, a lovely couple who were very welcoming with plenty of tea, coffee and delicious home made biscuits,  a great start to what turned out to be a brilliant day.

The Artisan Bakehouse is set in 5 acres of secluded gardens and woodland, a really beautiful setting, peaceful and calm.   There are also two 16th century holiday cottages available to let all year round for a perfect country break.

The Bakehouse itself houses a custom-made wood fired traditional bakers oven, that uses nothing more than fire wood, to create the perfect bake.  

First up on the bread making list was Foccacia laden with garlic, rosemary and black olives.   We then tackled a small baguette, M&S watch out, ours were pretty good!  Next was a Tear and Share Crown Bread to which we added sundried tomatoes and more black olives.  The same dough again then produced a Seeded loaf with my favourite combination of seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, golden and brown flaxseeds and sesame seeds, a nutritionally power packed bread!  We didn’t get time for the Soda Bread, but as I’ve made it many times it was no matter and we all got a chance for a chat over tea and lunch so the day was not rushed and extremely enjoyable.

Bakes1 Collage

Bakes2 Collage 

Bakes3 Collage

The Artisan Bakehouse also hold a range of other workshops, including children’s baking and pizza making parties.  I will definitely be taking Miss ND next year (she’s a touch young at 3) I would love a mummy and me type afternoon of baking and sampling our bakes.

Lunch Tea Collage 

A break for lunch with home-made bacon quiche with plenty of salads and coleslaw plus a good selection of drinks and a lovely surprise was afternoon tea with a gorgeous selection of home-made cakes, whilst we waited for our final breads to bake, I couldn’t manage much by that point but Louise very kindly let me take home a brownie and meringue for Mr ND who was looking after Miss ND for the day.  They were very well received!

I can highly recommend The Artisan Bakehouse, warm and friendly, beautiful surroundings and superb tuition, I feel way more confident about baking a wider selection of breads now with all the tips Les passed on to us.

 A lot of kneading later and 32 breads made between us, 8 exhausted but happy ladies went away laden with bread and windfall damsons, see what I made with them here!  

 

 

Bread Time – Soda Bread

Soda Bread, leavened with bicarbonate of soda rather than yeast, which makes it perfect for me as I am supposed to be avoiding yeast, it’s not easy as I love breads of every kind!  I made a plain version to start with and really enjoyed it.  Soda bread does not keep well and is best eaten within a day or so, no problem there then!  Apparently it freezes well, mine didn’t last long enough to freeze.

I expect all Soda Bread recipes are mostly alike but I’m using Paul Hollywood’s version from his How to Bake book but I did halve the recipe, I always like to do a test bake first! 

Prep: 15-20 mins

Makes: 1 small loaf

Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6
Line a baking tray with parchment/baking paper


Ingredients

250g plain white flour plus a little extra for dusting your board and dough before baking

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

200ml buttermilk

Method

Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl, then add in the buttermilk and stir until a sticky dough is formed.

Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball, flatten slightly.

Then put the dough onto your prepared baking try, cut into quarters making sure you don’t cut all the way through and give a light dusting with flour.

Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

The great thing about some breads are the alternatives you can make. Combining wholemeal and white flour and by adding grated cheese and onion or sun-dried tomatoes, olives, etc to the dough mixture for an even more delicious Soda Bread.

For the Sundried Tomato and Cheese Soda bread I used 180g white plain flour (all I had left after baking 2 other Soda Breads!) and 70g wholemeal flour, as you can see even so little wholemeal flour has given it a lovely colour and texture.  I used 40g extra strong Cheddar cheese, will use more next time, love cheesy bread and a few sun-dried Tomatoes, again could have used more.  Can’t wait to try out more combinations!