After my debut into the world of bread making with my first ever sourdough loaves and my bubbly new immature rye starter, I was keen to head back into the kitchen and try my hand at some bread again. I wanted to try something a little more robust, slightly darker and filling. My parents were going on a road trip up north the day after, so the answer was obvious, a hearty sandwich bread was in order.
Scanning quite a few web pages and looking in my bread book I stumbled upon a Golspie Loaf. A wonderful creation by the well known UK baker Dan Lepard in his excellent book "The Handmade Loaf". A tip of the hat to the classic bere bannock flour that was once milled in the highlands to make flatbread. It called for me to use my Rye levain and some oats, which I have wanted to use in bread making, so it was an easy and obvious choice. The recipe was simple (even better) and would make me try something new in a sandwich tin (still haven't solved my banneton issues yet, not going to waste good money on expensive bread baskets). Rye levain (75%), Wholemeal Flour (100%), Water (62%), Dried Yeast (1%), Sea Salt (2%), Oatmeal (19%). 400g Wholemeal flour provides enough for one loaf.
Using his low knead basis for bread making (intermittent 10-15sec kneads with 10min gaps), the dough was quickly and easily in place and ready to go in a 20cm oiled and oat coated sandwich tin. It looked a little flat to me, "shouldn't it be higher than this?" I thought to myself. A deep score through the entire bread to later divide into quarters the bread was good to go. Even after proofing and doubling in size I wondered if this could become a bread that coud hold fillings. 20min at 190C and a further 25 at 170C provided the answer.
The Golspie rose wonderfully, covered in lovely smelling oats. Many of the oats were falling off (maybe I could have used some water to attach them to the dough a little better?), but there were many still there, especially coating the sides where the oil coating of the tin was. The desire to just cut into it and the obsession with seeing and getting the perfect "Crumb Shot", was a massive temptation. However, a bit of fresh air for an hours walk let it cool sufficiently, but then I couldn't wait anymore and it was time to cut and make some sandwiches.
Dividing the quarters the bread seemed to be a little doughy and I thought it must be underbaked. However, as you can see, the crumb was dense, but had an airyness to it and was moist. It also held together very well and provided a really stable base for sandwich fillings. Apparently it tasted really good too and went down a treat.
I had bought some very, very cheap and basic unglazed quarry tiles to act as a baking stone (instead of paying upwards of £40 for a stone I got 6 tiles for £4). They just had to be tested.
I made some small granary rolls. These rolls were made using granary flour. A UK company Hovis makes the flour and it is essentially a wholemeal flour with toasted wheat flakes (17%). It gives a good taste and nice texture. The recipe was simple: Granary Flour (100%), Water (60%), Dried Yeast (2%), Salt (2%), Olive Oil (8%). Mix, light knead, proof, de-gas, final proof for 1h and into a hot oven (220C), for 20-25 min. Steam was created for the first 10min with a pan of cold water in the bottom of the oven. Unfortunately these turned out like little bricks. They were soft inside and tasted ok, but the crusty top was more brick like and I was not happy. I tried a new setting on the oven and I think it was the wrong choice.
Hydration was a little off too, a little too low. Maybe I can increase hydration with wholemeal bread? The tiles worked great, they were very hot and conducted the heat perfectly. I have to test those properly with some sourdough again.
The Final Hurrah
To finish off I decided to whip up a basic almond and marzipan cake for my sister. Turned out to be pretty big but I am assured it tasted lovely and had a great yellow tinge inside from the golden marzipan I had used. So there we have it, another day in the kitchen and at least one decent loaf made and some valuable lessons learnt to take into the next bake.
Having spent a day or so thinking about it and looking through recipies I like the idea of country themed breads and baking. Having spent pretty much most of my life travelling and living throuout the World I thought it could be fun to do a theme bake every so often. So this time we had Scotland, I wonder where I will be heading next time.
Good luck with your bread baking and any tips or advice are very welcome and thanks for stopping by!