I have a confession – I’ve never made bread before. Shocking I know; I’ve been baking for almost 2 years now and have never built up the courage to attempt bread. I’ve looked at the bread sections in recipe books with a mixture of longing and fear.
When my mum went to Iran, I finally had to face my fears. My dad’s gone all vegan on us, and my mum (great wife that she is) had started baking bread for him. While she was off for a month, the job of bread-baker turned to me.
I’d put off attempting bread until the last moment, by that point not a crumb could be found in my kitchen. I finally gave in and got out my trusted Baking Bible and attempted the easiest recipe I could find: Granary Rolls. I swapped any dairy products for their vegan alternatives and began preparing the dough.
Now when I started, I was determined to knead the dough by hand but, after wrecking the first part and making a mammoth amount of dough, I attempted to knead half the dough by hand, but it took an age, and was incredibly messy. I also used a lot of flour trying to get the dough not to stick. I split this half into rolls and left them to prove for about an hour.
I gave up any ideas of kneading the second half of the dough; instead, I used the bread tool on my Kenwood. It took 30 minutes to get the first half ready – it took 3 minutes in my Kenwood … God Bless kitchen utensils! I couldn’t be bothered to split this batch into rolls so ended up making a big roll out of the dough instead.
Once the dough had proved (proved? Is that the correct use of past tense?!) I put the rolls in the oven and hoped for the best; which is when I realised I forgot to glaze the bread… oops.
Once out the oven, I barely managed to wait long enough for the rolls to cool before breaking one open to give it a taste. The bread was alright, and tasted great toasted and buttered, but it was in no way good enough for Bake Off standards. The crust was too hard, and the bread under-baked, even though I had left it in the oven for longer than the recipe required.
For my first ever attempt at bread, I think it’s a pretty decent try. But I’m determined to get better. So much so I’m resorting to the king of breads – I’ve bought Paul Hollywood’s recipe book and will give his recipes a go. You never know, he might make a successful bread baker out of me yet!