I love bread. I love the smell of fresh bread, I love the smell of bread being baked, and I love eating bread. I love bread so much, that when on holiday a few years ago I made my family stop at every bakery we saw just to go inside to look at and smell the bread. I was the designated driver for the holiday, so they didn’t really have much choice! So that’s why I thought I’d write a blog about baking some bread.
Anyway, due to my love of bread, for Christmas my boyfriend bought me a bread maker. Amazing. I have made bread from scratch a few times, but this bread maker just makes it so, so much easier, it’s wonderful.
I thought I would share with you one of my bread making sessions, today I chose to make a French bread style loaf. Now, normally you would expect this to be in the form of a baguette, but this is just a regular loaf shaped bread. Still tastes great though.
For this, I used my Russell Hobbs breadmaker. It comes with a leaflet that gives you recipes for different types of bread, I have made a few of them before, but this is my first time trying the French bread recipe.
You will need:
300g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dried yeast
200g of water at room temperature. (The water is measured in grams in the recipe book so I just weighed it on my scales as if it was a dry ingredient.)
I was obviously making this in my bread maker, so you put all of the ingredients inside the loaf tin ready to be mixed. However, you must add the ingredients in a certain order, otherwise the yeast may activate too early or not activate at all and then disaster will strike. The recipe book advises that the wet ingredients are added first, so water on the bottom. Then dry, so I added the salt before the flour (salt and yeast need to be kept well away from each other). I added the yeast last, so there was a flour barrier between it and the salt.
That is basically all the hard work done. The rest is up to the brilliant machine! You just pop the loaf tin into the machine, select the programme you require and off it goes. It mixes, kneads, proves and bakes the bread without you having to do anything else. It then beeps at you to tell you it’s ready. Can you tell I’m a little bit in love with it?!
The French bread recipe takes 3 hours and 40 minutes from when you start the machine to when it’s baked. There is also an option to set the machine to come on at a certain time, I haven’t tried it yet, but I want to set it to be ready for breakfast. Imagine waking up to a house smelling of fresh bread that you can literally go downstairs and start eating! Heaven.
This is about 10 minutes after I started the machine, all mixed together ready to start proving.
This is with about an hour to go, so just about to start baking I think.
The finished loaf! I was practically drooling as I took this photo, I had a slice as soon as I’d taken it. Yummmmmmmmmmmmm!
For any of you who like bread as much as me, I hope this has inspired you to get baking. I do see it as a bit of a cheat, but honestly, it’s so good, you need to try it.