I was a wee bit nervous about making bread because I’d never done it from scratch before (only with the aid of my Dad’s breadmaker). The thought of it is really appealing though: bread is such a staple part of a diet (especially in Germany!), and it’s nice to control exactly what goes in it. Plus, I tend to think traditional breadmaking is a bit of a dying art and so I am glad I tried it.
There are thousands of bread recipes out there. The one I used is another from Chef Michael Smith’s cookbook and can be found online here. This was actually quite straightforward, although it is a commitment when you start as it takes roughly 16 hours to make in total!
I did a variation on the country bread using half white flour and half wholewheat. The ingredient list is neither long nor complicated. After prepping, the bread rises for 12-14 hours, followed by kneading and then a further 2-3 hour rise before it’s baked for 45 minutes. Not complicated, but it’s not something to start if you’ve got a lot on the next day.
The bread was a success. I was a bit concerned when it first came out of the oven because it was rock hard on the outside. However once I cut into it, it was nice and soft. This recipe is quite dense but with good consistency and flavour.
Making bread is something I definitely want to experiment with more. I used this recipe as an introduction because I have a good feel for Smith’s recipes and how they work, and I think it paid off. I am looking forward to experimenting and trying others.