Monday, 30 July 2012

Baby Bloomer

Ah, the baby bloomer.  So called because it is a bloomer, but a small one, since I only needed to feed two of us with it.  Today the boyfriend suggested he make soup for our dinner and because we usually buy a nice loaf of bread to have with it I figured I would make some for a change.  And I actually had time to do so today, so why not?

I decided to try a bloomer.  The recipe wasn't that different from the basic white bread I made the other day, except for the inclusion of milk, not using a tin and giving it an egg wash coat.  I got a bit confused with the rolling bit but it came together easy enough and whilst I was a bit concerned with its size, after the second rise and going in the oven, it beefed up a bit.  It made a nice accompaniment to the potato and leek soup.

It tasted lovely.  Once again we polished off the entire loaf.  Possibly the only complaint was that the crust was overdone.  Not inedible but it certainly took a bit of extra effort to cut it.  I think I had my oven slightly higher than I meant to for the first stage of baking.  Oops.  Definitely need to get that oven thermometer.

Recipe - adapted from The Big Book Bread
Makes 1 small-ish loaf
  • 350g/12.5oz strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 3/4 tsp dried yeast
  • 12.5g/0.5oz butter
  • 75ml/2.5fl.oz warm milk
  • About 150ml/5fl.oz warm water
  • 1 egg
  1. Grease a baking tray and set to one side.
  2. Sift the flour and the salt into a large bowl.
  3. Add the sugar and yeast and mix together.
  4. Rub in the butter.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the mix and pour in the milk and half the water.  Mix.
  6. Keep adding the water a bit at a time and mixing together until you get a soft dough.  If 150ml of water isn't enough then add more but only tablespoonfuls at a time.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, or in your bowl if it is big enough, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.  This is about 10 minutes of kneading.
  8. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with clingfilm and put in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size.
  9. Once it is risen, punch the dough in the centre to deflate it and knead for another 5 or so minutes.
  10. Roll the dough out into a rectangle with a rolling pin until it is about 2.5cm/1 inch thick.
  11. Start from a shorter side and start to roll the dough up like a swiss roll.  After you make each roll of the dough, pinch it together along the seam.
  12. When the dough is fully rolled up, pinch the final seam together, tuck the edges of the loaf underneath it and place on the baking tray with the seam at the bottom.
  13. Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.  Again, I switched my oven on to preheat at this stage and sat the bread on top covered in a tea towel to let it rise.  So turn on your oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.
  14. Once risen, beat the egg in a small bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water and brush over the top of the loaf with a pastry brush.
  15. Use a sharp knife to cut 4 diagonal slits into the top of the loaf and then coat the insides of them with more egg wash.
  16. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and cook for another 25-35 minutes.  The bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  17. Remove and let cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving.

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