The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

helend's blog

helend's picture

Have just cut my finger badly enough to make the kitchen look like a slaughter house. I was only cutting up chocolate! Am still in one piece and have finished saying lots of BAD words but am reflecting on the fact that there won't be any hand kneading going on for a while.

Probably not a bad thing. Over the last 10 days have decorated homemade christmas cake with marzipan, made a fruit and nut ring, a chocolate log, swiss roll for trifle and, in batches, 8 dozen mince pies, 6 dozen sausage rolls with homemade flaky pastry and 6 white and wholemeal loaves of various shapes and sizes for family. Also catered a finger buffet for 20 at work.

I have, of course, enjoyed every minute - except for one batch of mince pies which had truly tough pastry - I think I was in bread-making mode and totally over hydrated the paste yeuchhh!

Anyway an enforced rest is in order. Not that we are likely to starve; there is plenty of bread etc in the freezer.

Meanwhile I shall catch up on my reading. I had a new cookbook for Christmas - Green & Black's organic chocolate cookbook with amongst other things a recipe for chocolate bread - the picture looks great.

helend's picture

Back home and relaxing on Sunday evening after visiting my family for the wekend. Did a batch bake on Friday evening after work to take some goodies down for Mum and Dad. Wish I could have taken the smell of fresh baking too!

At the moment everyone is feeling a little in need of TLC so I made a rich cherry and almond loaf to take along with a large white spelt tin loaf - great for chunky sandwiches and toast. To fill the oven I made a date cake for us to come back to which smelt fudgy and warm when I cut it into chunks. A bit of a marathon but the gluten in spelt flour works quickly and by cooking it all together at 170c in a forced air oven, the moistness from the cakes and the slow temperature lets the bread crust develop.

Back to work tomorrow...

helend's picture

Hi all

I have been browsing the site for a while with great enjoyment. The new post from Helen in Canada prompted me to get started.

I am Helen from England and have been an enthusiatic baker all my life. I enjoy cooking with all sorts of flour and have found mine and my father's recently diagnosed wheat intolerance a new challenge rather than a misery - just a good excuse to experiment.

At the moment I am working with stoneground wholemeal spelt flour a lot. I usually get this from an organic source, Bacheldre Mill in Wales via my local farm shop. It is a light wholemeal with a nutty faintly sour flavour which seems accepatble to all my wheat-eating family and friends.

I still enjoy breadmaking with wheat flours. Of course here it is vital to buy "bread flour" as "ordinary" white flour (cake? all-purpose?)is made from European soft-grain wheat with poor gluten content for dough cookery.

Looking forward to being involved in the bread community!


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