Monday, 17 May 2010
Just a quick one. I've been baking a variety of breads lately. In fact I haven't really had to buy a loaf of bread in months now which is great (bags of flour on the other hand...). I've been obsessed with baking different types of multi-grain seeded loaves over the last few weeks and going to make another one I suddenly realised my big bag of mixed seeds had finally run out. Doh! But while rustling around I did spy a packet of hulled sesame seeds in my larder so decided to make a round sesame loaf.
Once the idea came to me I was excited and even a little nostalgic as I have very fond memories of eating this type of bread when I was just a wee lad. On Saturdays my Dad would go to the local bakery and buy a large sesame loaf which was super light and airy with a hard crunchy crust and covered with lovely toasted sesame seeds. We would slice it thick and eat it fresh most often with butter and golden syrup, sometimes just bananas or even just peanut butter. Lush.
As I like to constantly try new recipes I followed the white bread recipe from the back of the Doves Farm Organic flour packet as a guide - it turned out pretty well.
500g / 1lb White bread flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Quick yeast
1 tsp Sugar
300 ml/ 10 fl oz Warm water
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt quick yeast and sugar. Carefully measure water and roughly mix it into the flour. While dough is still craggy add the oil and knead until well until it feels smooth and pliable.
Leave the dough in a bowl in a warm place covered with damp cloth until the dough doubles in size (1 - 2 hours). Once this is done turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for several minutes.
Next you need to shape into a boule or ball. To ensure the bread keeps its shape and rises well you need to create adequate surface tension. Start with a rough ball and pull a little section of the dough from the top of the dough of it out towards the side, and stretch underneath to the bottom of the ball. Rotate the ball slightly and repeats the process until the whole loaf is a tight ball shaped with the seam meeting in the middle of the underside. It should sit nice and perky on your baking tray.
Put onto a greased tray or greased baking sheet. Baste with milk and carefully place a small handful of sesame seeds on top. Allow to rise for half an hour then bake in a preheated oven at 220°C / 200°C Fan for 35 / 40 minutes.
One final tip I tend to put an extra tray at the bottom of the oven when preheating and throw a cup of water in it when I bake the loaf. The resuting steam seems to help the loaf rise and crust form.
This was a good loaf but I might look at tweaking the recipe. Possibly using honey as a sweetener or a sour dough starter. Will report on the results.