Friday, 15 March 2013

A bit of bread - oh yes, and worms...

Welcome to my new follower kristieinbc.

I am looking forward to the bread making programme in this coming week by Paul Hollywood. In the Radio Times magazine for said week is one of his recipes for Stout Soda Bread. I haven't got in stock some of the basic ingredients he has used, nor do I like stout in things, so what has a girl to do, yep, adapt.

He calls for 1lb 4oz wholemeal plus 7oz white (normal not strong) flours, mixed together, along with 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar and 1 tsp salt. I currently only have white flour but have some S.R. Wholemeal flour which was sieved to get out the bran. Then I added wheatgerm to make up the 4oz in the first part. I could only use 1lb 7oz of white flour so for an extra 'kick', I added a tablespoon of linseeds.

Brown sugar – none so I used just 1 tablespoon white. Bicarb and salt were added as instructed – see, I do sometimes follow recipes!

This dry mixture needed to have 1/2 pint stout (I used cider hence only using half the sugar) plus 8 fl oz buttermilk – nope – only had plain home made yoghurt. I did need to add a little extra cider as it was too dry and wouldn't come together properly.

I really should have realised by the quantity of flours, how big a loaf this would make (he says to oil a 2lb 4oz bread tin). Don't have one of those either so the mixture once made, was distributed between 2 x 1lb bread tins.

He suggests you leave the mixture in the tin to rise but can bake it straight away if required. I did mine straight away as I wanted to get it cooked so I could roast some old vegetables in the oven to make soup for lunch. The dough was baked as he suggests at 230 Celsius for 10 minutes before turning it down to 180 Celsius for another 25 minutes or until done.

The bread needs to be left in the tin for 5 minutes before tipping out (obviously have to temporarily remove it to tap its bottom to see if it is hollow which indicates it is done). After that, leave it until completely cold before slicing. I checked my loaves 10 minutes before the end of allotted cooking time and they were hollow but left them in until the end. They were fine.

As this bread is yeast-less, it won't keep for more than 2 or 3 days, so as I still have some bread left, both have gone into the freezer. Mind you, we did try a slice before it was frozen. Verdict -as good as my normal recipe, which when you think about it, it isn't far off my normal recipe but with the addition of cider instead of milk! :) 

Silly me, I forgot to say about the worms. I had read the instructions incorrectly. I thought I had to feed them once a week for 4 weeks AFTER the initial 2 weeks routine. Now, having re-read them, I know I have to feed them every other day with a small amount of chopped up waste. If they aren't eating the first lot after a few days, I have to wait. 
Well, only a few have found the first lot so I am going to give them another week and see how they are doing after that.


  1. As far as I am concerned, bread is bread is bread. I use Sue of The Quince Tree s Daily Bread recipe. Flour, yeast salt and water, no sugar no oil, no milk, nothing. Simple, unfussy and inexpensive and total doable and delish. Makes 4 loaves, half whole wheat and half white, perfect. I do however, grind by own wheat berries just before I make the bread (for the whole- wheat amount) and I have to admit it raises the whole thing to a new level. Makes quite a healthy loaf and great toast.
    I would rather put the stout in a beef stew or drink it straight from the bottle.

    1. Well I must admit, we like to mix and match our bread. Mostly, we use a basic recipe like Sue's, the less in there the better. Occasionally though, we like something sour dough based, which we got used to when living in Germany.

  2. Do you make all your bread in the oven? I have a breadmaker but comes out a bit stodgy. Any ideas?


    1. Yes I do, usually made in a mixer to begin with as my wrists aren't as good as they used to be. Then I finished kneading by hand, and bake in the oven. When you say stodgy do you mean wet. My friend has a bread machine and she found adding more water gave her a lighter and larger loaf.

    2. Thanks for replying, it's not so much wet as heavy. Kind of cake like, not light like I am ashamed to say, a shop bought loaf.

    3. I don't know many people who home bake who can get it like shop bread, they use double the amount of yeast and a lot of improver's. As I don't have a bread machine not sure how I can further help you. My early hand made bread used to come out cake like and it was due to using older yeast and not kneading enough. Sometimes, lack of proving and not a high enough heat (in the oven) also make bread cake like. Do you think your bread maker is working correctly?

  3. I don't think I have ever eaten soda bread but it sounds easy enough to make - I might just give it a go.

  4. There are many recipes but most are similar. I have never baked it in a tin before though and once cold, it zipped into slices courtesy of my electric slicer. Not sure if it is the right kind of bread for sandwiches as he suggests but is lovely as toast and great with soup etc.


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