I have been promising to write about bread for a while, and since I keep getting emails about it, I think you want you know about bread too! But first NEXT week the Autumn-Winter catalogue launches! Hurrah, yes all the Christmas, Autumn, Harvest, Halloween and even a tiny bit of Valentines is in there… I am going to do 3 days of live videos, starting on Tuesday 4th August at 2pm over on my Facebook page.

Inspiring Inkin’ on Facebook

I’ll be live at 2pm on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th August as well. I hope you will be able to tune in. There will be the replay right here on my blog the following day as well.

All the catalogues have gone in the post, so watch out for that dropping through your letterbox very soon.

Bread

Here we go, just so you know, there are lots of pictures and links and hints and tips along the way. Along with a secret weapon that will help you make the BEST Bread !!!

I have been making bread for a VERY long time, you might remember from previous blog posts I went to catering college and I was baking before then, so I guess 40 years ish. That said, I can go years without baking bread and its not always been a success !

When lockdown hit at the end of March, bread, flour and yeast where in short supply but I had enough to make some loaves to get us through, since then I haven’t bought a loaf of bread I’ve made everything we have needed. So I can say I’ve had a bit of practise! It wasn’t easy and getting the ingredients was tricky, but I have found two awesome online stores with great organic flours, they almost always have yeast in stock and they both supply organic produce.

The first is the shop for the Globe Foundation, they are a non-profit shop and refill depot, based at Globe Eco Centre in Staffordshire. They deliver across the UK, providing ethical, eco-friendly food, home and personal care products. Any pennies you spend with them help to fund community eco projects. They have a huge range of products.

Zero Waste Shop

This 2nd company is fab, they have great organic flours and coconut flakes too, I adore coconut! I have been using their Rye flour for my sour dough starter and its great ( more about that later).

Buy Wholefoods Online Shop

So now you know where to go to get supplies, the next thing you need to know is what to bake. Not all bread recipes are good, in fact some are really rubbish! To start with in March I was using Mary Berry’s white loaf recipe in her Baking Bible book, I swapped out 1/2 white for wholemeal and it was making okay ish bread…… some of it rose really well other times it just spread out all over the tray! As you can see in these pictures, not very much structure.

Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK
Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK
Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK

I started to look for help with my bread making and that’s when I found my secret weapon on Youtube……

Bake with Jack!

A fabulous baker, with no nonsense help and advice, a blog and youtube videos. I use his recipes, visit his blog or youtube channel for help and advice, and my bread is vastly improved.

If you have never made bread before, or if you want a refresher I recommend you watch videos 128, 129 for information about getting started and then watch a complete loaf start to finish in video 130. The videos are great, he goes through the basics and a step by step yeasted loaf. I use that recipe and get amazing bread every time.

I have tweaked the recipe to add Wholemeal flour 50/50 watch videos No 136 and 137 to find out more about wholemeal flour and how to substitute it.

My tweaks are as follows, 250g of both Strong White and Strong Wholemeal flour, 350g water ( yes I weigh the water) and I give it a gentle mix for a minute and leave it to stand for 30 minutes then I knead it. But…….. don’t tell Jack…….. I use my Kitchen Aid to knead the bread for 8 minutes, most of the time…… occasionally I do it by hand, it’s lovely to do but mostly I use the mixer….. See Video 105 to see what Jack says about using the mixer. The above amounts are for 1 loaf, Jacks recipes are usually for 2.

I went on a hunt for a decent loaf tin, most loaf tins are 2lb and that seems really small for my recipes that had 500g flour. I found a galvanised 3lb tin on Amazon and was VERY excited, then this happened……

Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK

So even though I greased the tin my bread stuck…….. I put a palette knife in to release it and cut into the bread, what a mess! So I learnt then you need to season your galvanised tins and crucially DON’T WASH IT !!!! I know it really seems weird but just wipe it out after each loaf.

So to season the tin, coat the inside with oil, and bake it empty on a hot oven for 20-30 minutes. Let it cool and do that once or twice more, each time coating the inside with oil. I’m sure I don’t need to say this but I’m going to, you don’t need to season a NON-STICK tin.

Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK
Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK
Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK

And yes it came out easily!

Here is what Jack has to say about greasing and washing your tins… he seasons his differently to the way I did mine, but both methods work

I used the same basic recipe to make Bread rolls, check out videos 51, 96 and 110 for shaping tips and to get soft rolls too. I do weigh out the dough before shaping so they are an even size, these are 100g, but 85g will give you 10 rolls of a good size too.

Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK
Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK

So what is next in my bread making journey?

Sour Dough is next. It’s Brian’s favourite bread and I have been putting it off for years because of the waste. If you read most recipes you have to make a starter, then feed it, then throw some away and feed it and so it goes on and on and on. Its seemed like a lot of faff and a waste. But guess what??? Jack has a fab method for sour dough called the Scrapings Method, you need to check out videos 68, 71 and 101 for all the info about making a starter, how the scrapings method works and a sour dough loaf start to finish.

So here is my starter, I’m using Organic Rye flour and the 2nd picture is how it looked this morning, there is life, that was day 4 of making the starter! The purple band is the level it was last night. I am just a little bit excited!

Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK
Bread Amanda Fowler Inspiring inkin' Stampin' Up! UK

So hopefully I will have a loaf to show you tomorrow or Wednesday. Or of course it may go horribly wrong, but you need to fail to learn and I’m more than happy to keep trying. I will keep you posted.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s bread making post, you will always get more updates about my baking over on Instagram or Facebook click on the links below

Inspiring Inkin’ on Facebook

Inspiring Inkin’ on Instagram

I will see you tomorrow over on Facebook for Craft and chat at 2pm, and remember to put in your diary next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the catalogue launches at 2pm.

Finally you’ve only got a few more days to get your order in or to buy your kit for the August Craft-a-long! All the details at the bottom of this post.

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To get a free thank you gift or join the August Craft-a-Long Club for FREE, simply enter the Inkin’ Host Code above at check out when you shop online and place a minimum order of £30 or €35. If your order is less than £30 or €35 you will of course still receive a handmade card and gift from me.

You can also join the August Craft-a-Long club by buying the kit for £12 or €15, click HERE.

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