Fresh, homemade bread has to be one of my biggest vices. I. DO. LOVE. FRESH. BREAD. It doesn't last long in our house, so I try not to make home made bread too often as I could eat too much of it.
Tear and share type breads are both easy and fun to make. My pretty red KitchenAid food mixer has improved my bread and also made it much quicker to make as it takes the work out of the kneading of dough. Saying that, kneading dough is terribly therapeutic !
Making two loaves of bread at the same time is something I would never do. It's just too much....or at least, it WAS. A basic bread recipe with 500g of flour fits in a 2lb loaf mould or tin. However, we now have new 1lb loaf moulds. A 1lb loaf tin is a really hard size to find these days. To get the size for this, I used a very old tin that belonged to my grandmother and had many many years of use.
We developed it into a new style silicone mould which is now available in both black and red. These are heavy duty and have feet supports built in just like the larger 2lb and extra large 3lb moulds. Main benefit here is that I can make one basic bread recipe and split it into two smaller loafs.
So easy, it's childs play ! Honestly, after the mixer did the work and the dough had first prove, I made the sweet bread and Oliver (aged not quite 3yo) made the savoury one last weekend
Basic Bread recipe
500g strong white bread flour
1 tablespoon of olive oil (or a knob of butter)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1.1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 sachet of fast action dried yeast (for breadmakers)
320ml warm milk (or water)
Put all the dry ingredients in your food mixer (fitted with dough hook) and add the warmed milk. I prefer to use milk for tear and share type breads, and water for plain, standard slicing bread.
Leave it to be worked by the mixer at a medium speed for around 10mins. Remove the bowl, cover with some cling film and leave until doubled in size. Depending on the temperature, this could take anywhere from 30 mins to overnight ! This time of year, I find it takes about 40mins. Now your dough is ready to use.
Divide the dough into two batches. It's going to be puffy and deflate as soon as you start handling it - but don't worry - that's normal and we'll do another short rise later. Keep one batch aside to use and shove the other back in the bowl under the cling film.
The iced apple & pecan tear and share bread was going to be too hard for Oliver, so I did this one.
soft, brown sugar
1 medium sized apple (finely chopped)
fistful of pecan nuts, coarsely chopped
First of all, I rolled the dough out to a large thin strip on my silicone rolling work mat. You may need a little flour for dusting your rolling pin (and your work surface if you don't have a silicone mat). I then used a blunt table knife to cut it lengthways into two narrower strips.
You'll see there are no quantities. All I can say is use liberally. You can't really go wrong !
Butter the dough strips on one side. Sprinkle them all over with a good covering of the soft, light brown sugar and give a good dusting with cinnamon (as much or as little as you like !) and then top with the chopped apple pieces.
From the end, roll over about 1.1/2 turns and then cut through with the blunt table knife. I managed to get 8 rolls. Wedge these into your mould, two abreast and then dot the tops with butter. I like to use salted butter as I love the combination of sweetness and salt.
Put on top of a baking tray and leave for about 20mins to rise a little before baking in a fan oven at about 180deg C (190deg C normal) for around 30 mins.
Remove from oven.
Ooops - a little too much butter on top. The bread rises a bit more in the oven, so excess ran off.
Make up some glaze if desired from some icing sugar mixed with fresh orange juice to form a thick paste. Spread this on top of the hot bread. Much of it will melt in and the rest will set on the top
I'm sure you can see why this didn't last long ! Shared between 4, it disappeared fast !
The sugar and butter with apples produces a appley caramel syrupy goo. Soooo yummy !
See the apples in the middle of each piece. This smelt and tasted SO good !
ok.... enough of the apple and pecan bread... and on to the savoury.
There are not so many photos of this as I was rather tied up helping Oliver and supervising.
With the second batch of dough, take it out the bowl and rip it up into loads of little balls. For photos of what I mean see this post here about Monkey Bread.
For this savoury bread we used :
tomato puree (slightly thinned with a tiny bit of water)
cheese ( in this case we used red leicester)
sliced red peppers
Oliver : rip up pepperoni
Mummy : crumble cheese (or grate)
Oliver : Take the balls and dip each one in olive oil
Mummy : smear some of the balls with some tomato puree
Pop them into the 1lb loaf mould.
Oliver : sprinkle on some cheese. Scatter some pepperoni and sliced bell pepper
Mummy : sprinkle on a little fresh thyme (sparingly !)
Repeat steps 2 & 3 until mould is full and all dough balls used.
Put some cherry tomatoes on top to make it pretty and leave for 20 minutes or so to rise a little.
Bake as per the apple and cinnamon bread...
Although both loaves were made on the one day, I put the apple pecan one in the fridge and we baked Oliver's savoury loaf first. The apple pecan loaf was baked the following day and went straight from the fridge to the oven.
Happy baking !
Sarah-Jane & Oliver Nash, August 2011 - www.siliconemoulds.com