I was recently sent a lovely Hamper from the people at Baking Mad and challenged to bake myself a loaf of bread! I have a real fear of baking with yeast. Most of the time (even when I use the bread machine) my bread turns out lousy! I kid you not! My ex husband was a beautiful bread baker. He baked all of our bread when he was home. It was lovely. Me . . . I have always only ever made great door stops.
I do like a challenge however and so I took Baking Mad up on their challenge and received everything I needed in order to make either one of two different recipes. The one I chose to do first was the Wholemeal Wreath loaf. It's a part of the Allinson wholemeal dough collection and looked really pretty in their photograph. Was I up to the challenge? Let's see . . .
The dough went together really quickly and easily. I like quick and easy. Before too long, I had it mixed and kneaded and it was rising in the bowl. I strongly suspect that it is in the kneading that it always goes wrong for me. The recipe said to knead it for 10 minutes, so I set the timer and that's what I did.
Looks good eh? I know. I was impressed with my skills thus far.
I covered it with a clean tea towel and set it aside to rise for an hour . . .
It actually rose like it should have done. Just look at that! (Patting myself on the back here.)
You then had to shape it into a long roll and then slice it in half lengthways, leaving one end attached. From that end you twist the two lengths of dough together . . .
Pinching the ends together to shape a wreath. I then popped it onto a floured baking tray, covered it and left it to rise again. I think I could have done better with this. I wasn't really happy with my log. It wasn't smooth like I suspect it should have been and so my wreath was not as smooth as it could have been either.
Ugly as it was however, it actually rose quite well!
And it baked really well also! I was quite impressed. It turned out pretty good if I don't say so myself! I know it could have been a bit of a neater finish, and when I bake it again, I will try harder to make it a bit more presentable, but I was overall very impressed with my results!
I do believe that this is one of the nicest loaves of bread I have ever baked, and everyone agreed.
It had a lovely texture also . . . and was simply gorgeous served warm and spread with butter. Here is the link to their recipe. In the meantime I have converted it to North American measurements so that all my North American friends can enjoy this lovely loaf also.
*Wholemeal Wreath*Makes one loaf
100g of strong white bread flour (1 cup)
1 1/2 tsp salt1 Easy Bake Yeast Sachet (7g or 2 1/4 tsp)
Many thanks to the people at Baking Mad and Allison Flours for challenging me and for providing me with the ingredients. Do check out their page to find this and more bread recipes, and recipes for many other delicious baked goodies!