I made bread again today, there is nothing like the smell of home-made bread coming from the Kitchen.
I decided to be more adventurous and make wholemeal bread this time, then when I was in the home baking aisle of the supermarket I suddenly thought…why not add dates and walnuts to it too!! Whitworths do chopped Dates and Walnuts in a packet which I thought would be perfect.
To speed up the process I use Allinson Easy Bake Yeast, I also used the recipe for basic bread off the side of the tin. Today however I have tweaked it slightly…hopefully it will turn out!!
Before making my bread I had a look at a BBC Video on Kneading, as last time I don’t think I kneaded by bread properly/or long enough as it was a bit dense! So hopefully this time there will be some improvement on last time.
Here the dough had been left to rise for about 15 minutes – looking good!
Here is the recipe, as mentioned this is the basic bread recipe from the tin of Easy Bake Yeast (I cannot take credit for it!), however I omitted the sugar as I thought the sugar from the dates would be enough to sweeten the dough.
500g Strong Wholemeal Flour
1½ tsp Salt
15g Soft Butter or 15ml Vegetable Oil
7g Easy Bake Yeast
Approx. 300ml Warm Water (1 part boiling, 2 parts cold)
Dates and Walnuts (I used about 70g but you can add more or less to suit your taste)
Add the flour and salt to a large bowl, stir in the yeast, then rub in the butter (I used oil and stir it in). Add enough water and mix to form a soft dough.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for up to 10 minutes – or until smooth and elastic. I then kneaded in the Dates and Walnuts until they were well mixed.
Shape the dough on a baking tray (or you can put it in a tin), cover and leave to rise in a warm place until dough is doubled in size for 30 to 45 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 230°/gas mark 8.
Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven to 200°/gas mark 6 and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until bread is risen and golden brown.
Well I have to say it tasted as good as it looked! I am very impressed with how it came out, especially as I didn’t follow a recipe specific for this combination. There is still room for improvement on the kneading front, however it was much better than my first attempt. I will definitely try out more new ingredients in the future.
What other types of bread do you make, and does anyone use a bread maker ? Are they any good, or is the traditional way the best?