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Bread Making

13 Jun

Another holiday out here today and l forgot. What is it this time? Actually, this is Pentecost Monday, and the brief recent history of this day is quite interesting. Click on the link to know more. So where does the bread-making thread come into it? Well, the shops are shut and we don’t have any bread so l made some. Actually, a few shops are open in the village in the morning but were closed by the time we realised we were out of bread.

When bread became rationed in WW2, many people turned their hand to making bread. Fresh yeast was difficult to come across but dried yeast was available. The recipe given by Marguerite Patten in her book Feeding the Nation: Nostalgic Recipes and Facts from 1940-1954, is exactly the same as used today and gives some interesting variations eg. Cheese Bread although that would have used up your cheese ration, Fruit Bread, Herb Bread and Malt Bread using malt extract or Ovaltine!

I make bread, from time to time, but can’t say it is something l do religiously but when l do l really enjoy it. There is something almost primeval when going through the whole process of making a loaf; from seeing the yeast develop, kneading the bread and watching the loaf rise, it is quite therapeutic and deeply satisfying. I feel like shouting out the window ‘Come on World, do your worst, l’ll be okay because l’ve just made a loaf of bread’!

So, for the recipe. I love using ‘proper’ flour and by that l mean a good old-fashioned flour like Doves Farm Organic Strong White Bread Flour. I bought a load when we were in the UK last time. I normally make a wholemeal loaf or Spelt bread but this time l just needed a quick loaf.

Click on this link for the recipe on Doves Farm website and for loads of information in general about bread.

Kneading the dough

Proving the dough

Mmmm...it smells lovely!

Some people use bread makers and l am sure it makes a great loaf but l like a natural look to my bread so l just place it on an oiled baking sheet direct into a hot oven for 35-40 mins. or so.

Like any cooking at home you know what has gone into making the loaf that you bake. You also get the added bonus of your home filled with the beautiful aroma of freshly baked bread. All we need now are some people to come and view the house!

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4 Comments

Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Cooking

 

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4 responses to “Bread Making

  1. chicaandaluza

    June 13, 2011 at 14:32

    Interesting history about the day. We often miss Bank Holidays here – or rather we go out for the day and find that everything is shut! Your bread looks wonderful and I agree about the bread makers. I ahve one and as I bake bread quite often, I use it for the kneading. I often programme it so that the bread is ready kneaded when I get up, then I take it out of the bread maker and shape it more or less like yours and then bake in the oven. Much nicer! I also like the Doves Farm products – I try to get the yeast when I´m in the UK or get someone to bring it over. Sounds like selling a house in France is as slow a process as it is here. Best of luck though!

     
    • trevorhunt

      June 14, 2011 at 13:36

      Thanks Tanya. Fingers crossed things are on the move on the house front. Will know more soon. For a white loaf it tasted really nice. I always promise myself l will make bread more often but it never happens!

       
  2. chaiselongue1

    June 13, 2011 at 21:35

    Your loaf looks wonderful. We don’t make bread as often as we used to because we have an excellent boulangerie just 50 metres from the house, but it’s still fun occasionally. Today we made pizza dough and rosemary focaccia, using flour that was milled about 20 kilometres away. I like your idea of a war time garden and we get a lot of advice here from people who have been gardening for decades and learnt from their fathers (it is usually the fathers here, as mothers do the cooking) and pass on their knowledge to us.

     
    • trevorhunt

      June 14, 2011 at 13:41

      Hi Chaiselongue1, Thanks for calling by. The loaf tasted great but l do prefer a good thick brown loaf of some description. Our boulangerie is great too but, as you say, its just fun sometimes. We had a lovely old farmer just down the road from us who had a beautiful walled kitchen garden who grew the most fantastic veg. It was very difficult to talk to him though because a) My French is not very good and b) he spoke a mixture of French and Breton! He was probably telling me to smother everything in insecticide!!

       

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