Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Mad Baker of Gwent...

... or, how many loaves of home-made bread does one couple with no kids need anyway???
Its another damp day - nonstop drizzle since its been light enough to see, so I haven't been anywhere except the post box to return a lovefilm disk.
Instead, I decided I felt like baking - savoury baking, not sweet.
So. I started out looking through a baking book I borrowed from the library yesterday - a Weight watchers book to be exact. I found lots of recipes I want to try (including one for sticky gingerbread that looks gorgeous) but nothing that really fit my mood. So instead I decided to try something I did once before with very limited success - Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day - probably because of my usual substituting too much issue. I halved the recipe to make enough dough for 2 loaves instead of 4, and its now sitting in a big mixing bowl for the initial room temperature rise.Pre-rise...

and 5 hours later...

The problem was that I won't actually produce any bread from it till tomorrow at the earliest (I decided to give it 4 hours at room temp and then over-night in the fridge) so it didn't satisfy the baking urge for today... so off I went again, looking for a quick unyeasted bread to take the edge off. And this is the one I picked! Beer bread with wholemeal flour. It couldn't be easier (though I forgot to add the sugar till after the beer!) But it looks great, smells great, and tastes great!

I do however have a question for any bakers who may be reading... how do you achieve a resilient crust that doesn't break up when you slice the bread? I mean, there are advantages... I think its cook's prerogative to eat the bits that break off, as they obviously have no calories (and even if they did, I've clearly burnt off at least that many calories slicing the loaf!) and OMG the crumbs were very tasty!!! But I'd like a loaf that could actually be used to make sandwiches or toast, and I seem to specialise in breads that taste amazing, look good in loaf form, are great dipped into / crumbled onto soup... but the edges crack off in lumps as I hack slice the loaf, leaving me with very rustic looking chunks of bread instead of nice tidy slices!
One of only 3 decent slices taken from the loaf... as you can see, the crumb looks great, the texture is lovely... but the crust, damn it, the crust!!!!

Food today:
All bran with pomegranate seeds
Spiralized zucchini, sweet potato & carrot 'noodles' stir fried with vegetables

Cumin carrot chick pea burger with a huge salad - the burgers are still yummy!

Half a home-made bagel with a smear of sweet chilli houmous;
protein bar; protein pancakes made with sliced banana and egg white, and I finished my little bag of wasabi nuts
Stay Healthy


1 comment:

  1. Hi Chrissie. Glad that the Beer bread was such a success. It does look to have a lovely light texture. Re crusts - I've never had that problem of the crust crumbling. Is it something to do with your oven? The only other thing I can think is are you putting a wash over the top of it? Ie milk or egg + milk? This might help.

    You've certainly done a lot in the kitchen today with all that baking and prepping all those veg - not to mention the banana pancake.

    Hope your other loaf turns out as well tomorrow.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx