It’s bake off week 3 and its bread week. And. I mean. Bread? Really, what is bread but rubbish cake?
Consider this less a recipe post and more a hugely heartfelt book recommendation – if you are interested at all in learning to make your own bread, buy this book –
Written by Bake-Off alum James Morton, Brilliant Bread is an accessible, readable treasure of a cookery book. He explains how to do magical things with flour and yeast, clearly and simply, and he works on the assumption that you’re a person with a normal life and things to be getting on with, and adjusts his recipes accordingly. Real care has been taken to build from simple up to complex, so you don’t get intimidated and give up, and the voice is warm and a pleasure to read.
And the recipes are good. Too. Look at this bread!
This lovely honey and walnut loaf was rich, complex and robust. It took a lot of proving and the dough was sticky and unpleasantly nubbly with the walnuts, but a) this need not concern you if you have a stand mixer and b) it was, on balance, worth it. It was so good we sacked off the “butternut squash and quinoa bowl” we had planned for dinner and eat this slathered in goats cheese instead.
This week, no recipe, partly because I didn’t change it AT ALL and I don’t really understand why it worked, so I have nothing to add. Also, don’t start with this one – it’s an intermediate kind of Brad. Start with the lovely crusty breakfast rolls – They only take a couple of hours and come out perfectly even for total beginners. Look at this, my first ever attempt at us try rolls, made excitedly on Boxing Day three years ago –
If you’re even a bit curious about baking bread, I really can’t recommend this book enough. It’s taken me from suspiciously slapping about uprisen lumps of yeast to consistently turning out better-than-bakery loaves. Thanks James! Please give up medicine and come and live with me and my husband and be our live in baker/bff. Thanks, bye.