Make a loaf of bread

OK, I know loads of people across the world do this every day. But I don’t. I rely on the convenience of a Hovis sliced loaf from the local shop (that’s “fresh” for days and days) or occasionally I might pop to the local bakery to pick up a fresh, crusty loaf on a Saturday. Bread is a staple diet these days, so surely I’d be able to make one from scratch.

The Fast-Action bread yeast is probably a cheat (although I do love that it says it’s a “Paul Hollywood favourite” in the Amazon description!!), and I got my hands nice and yukky in the mixing stage.

Getting my fingers dirty into the dough

Getting my fingers dirty into the dough

Ten minutes of kneading was hard work. My arms were aching! After the first 3 minutes or so, all I was thinking was “why do I need to knead”. Well, here’s the answer: It’s to develop gluten, and to make little pockets of air, to give it the elasticity in order for it to rise in the oven – otherwise it will all collapse on to itself. Apparently.

Phew! That was hard work!

Phew! That was hard work!

So after a couple of hours in the airing cupboard it look liked this. Doubled in size, and over-flowing from the tin. It didn’t look like it was going to be a good loaf of bread!

Lop-sided bread. Not very apetitising

Lop-sided bread. Not very apetitising

Into the oven it when, and it browned pretty quickly. The back of the packet suggested tapping the base of the loaf to see if it sounded hollow. If so then it was probably ready. I had two problems with this: 1) it was flipping hot and difficult wearing oven gloves! and 2) it was in a tin! Tin removed, balancing the lop-sided loaf on oven gloves, whilst taping it and then deciding whether that sound was hollow enough resulted in me just putting it on the cooling rack. And hey presto a fresh loaf of cinnamon and apple bread. It smelled wonderful and I looked forward to cutting into it.

Lop-sided, elephant bread.

Lop-sided, elephant loaf.

Better from this angle
Better from this angle

The lop-sided loaf didn’t look so appealing (like an elephant trunk when cut) and the inside was a bit squidgy (I don’t think it was cooked properly) which meant the texture and taste wasn’t great – although two minutes in the toaster remedied that.

Looks nicer than it was

Looks nicer than it was

All-in-all a good experience, but I shall be sticking with my shop-bought bread in future.

Go on, try it yourself! Post your photos and comments to the Wobble a Jelly Facebook page.

Remember, you can tweet me suggestions @jelly_wobbler

Categories: baking, cooking | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Make a loaf of bread

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