The Unsung Hero of the Kitchen

Not everything is about brawn and speed. In fact some of the most flavoursome wonders to come out of your oven take time and are quite simple – but worth it! I believe bread is one of the unsung heroes of the kitchen, over shadowed by three tiered chocolate cakes, braised ham with all the trimmings and stuffed salmon. Bread is one of the most satisfying and delicious things you can bake. Whether you’re after a simple wholemeal loaf with added figs, walnuts and honey or savoury sundried tomato bread, there is a something for all taste buds. Bread shouldn’t be dull or looked upon merely as a filling carrier for your lunch. It’s a fundamental part of our diet and we should experiment with it.

Forget about being pressed for time, don’t reach for the convenient loaf on the supermarket shelf and cast away the bread maker. Let’s go back to basics. This is where Leiths Baking Bible will come in very useful. A must for any budding baker.

The finished product

Apricot and Orange Bread

Ingredients…
225g strong white Marriage’s flour
225g wholemeal Marriage’s flour
1 teaspoon salt
15g of fresh yeast
290ml of lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
Grated zest of 1 orange
115g of dried apricots chopped

The Baking Bit….
1.Sift the flours and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle
2.Mix the yeast with 1 tablespoon of milk and add into the well with the rest of the milk and oil and mix into a soft dough
3.Knead by hand for 10 minutes
and place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and let it rest in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
This usually takes an hour
4.Heat the oven to 190 ◦ C
5.Knock back the dough
and knead both the orange zest and apricots into it. Shape your loaf, place on a baking tray and score lattice patterns on top
6.Place back into an oiled bowl covered in clingfilm until it is one and a half times larger again and dust with a little flour
7.Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool

Best Served With….covered with or without honey and butter and a large cup of tea.

Rising doughReady to bakeHelens Snaps 014

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