My First Bread

Could have been better.

I based it on this bread recipe, but amended according to my mother's advice.

Thus, I made a batter with 1/3 of the flour (strong white bread flour; 6oz), all of the yeast (one 7g packet) and all of the water (415ml) and the oil (30ml), and left that covered in the airing cupboard for an hour where it bubbled away merrily.

Next I mixed in the rest of the flour (12oz) and some salt and a handful of sunflour seeds, poppyseeds and pumpkin seeds. Contrary to what my mother promised, it was very sticky. I stirred vigorously and kept adding flour until I could cope with it, and kneading began. I kneaded for fifteen minutes, having discovered that sometimes punching instead of regular kneading is much more enjoyable.

I turned it into six balls and one long bit, and arranged them on a tray and in an ad-hoc loaf tin, and they went back in the airing cupboard for about two and a half hours (I went out). I covered them, as instructed, and that was where things started to go wrong..

The bits that didn't get stuck to the tinfoil rose great. But the bits that stuck pretty much didn't get to rise. They rose outwards loads, but upwards was constrained. Rubbish.

I baked them anyway (30 minutes, 220 degress celcius).

Tastes great, textures is okay, appearance is disappointing. Next time I won't cover them quite so securely while they're rising. Far more holey than I was anticipating too; I'm not sure if under- or over-kneading causes this.

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