Bread diary No.6 – Rye Cider Bread

I seem to be more or less making two batches of bread a week now. A standard loaf for toast and sandwiches in the week and something a bit more adventurous for weekends.

This weekends bread was another recipe from the ‘Dough’ book – Somerset Cider Bread. I was interested in this for two reasons, firstly it contained cider and I wondered what effect this would have on the bread and secondly it called for less yeast and a 6 hour ferment. I again went for a fairly light Rye loaf – 75% white, 25% rye.

Rye Cider Bread
Rye Cider Bread

Unfortunately I didn’t read the recipe correctly and started making the full amount when the ferment was supposed to be with just half the dough. I then decided to forgo the ferment this time and just put in some more yeast.

Working the dough, resting, folding and proving are all becoming fairly second nature now but I’m still having problems making sure that my individual loaves are the same size. I may need to use a scale for this praps?

The finished bread was very nice but the cider/apple flavour turned out to be very subtle and fairly easily disguised once you added butter and another topping. Nothing went wrong but I thought it might have been a slight waste of some quite nice cider. I’d like to try the 6 hour ferment still but I may replace the cider with beer maybe?

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Bread diary No. 5 – The Weekly loaf

A month into bread making and I feel that I’m getting into a bit of a rhythm.

When I started, bread making was a special weekend event but in the last few weeks I’ve made some regular bread for everyday use. Last week I made a kilo of light rye bread (80% white 20% rye) with a sprinkling of whole rye grains in. This week I made a batch of light wholemeal bread (70% White 30% wholemeal). Both turned out really well and made excellent sandwich bread.

I’ve learnt that when I make large batches I need to use two shelves in the oven. This does mean that they cook differently and that it is good to swap them over half way through the bake. I’ve also bought a granite floor tile to use as a baking stone.

The only part of the process that I’ve not entirely cracked yet is the transfer of the bread from the proving board to the baking stone in the oven. Bakers are supposed to use a peel (a┬ásort of wooden shovel) but I don’t have one of these. So far it’s been a matter of trying as best as i can to slide and/r man-handle the bread onto the hot tray. Hopefully this will get smoother.

We are quite busy this weekend so I may not be making any special bread this week which is a shame as there are a few I’m dying to try.