Way back at the start of 2012, I set myself the goal to go a month with no store-bought bread products. Well, it’s taken me a while, but I’ve now got into the routine of making almost all of our bread. (The only exception is my hubby likes to wrap sausages in cheapo white bread – I need to find a good soft bread recipe to replace that!).
I started with a white buttermilk bread recipe with wheat flour, and the recipe has slowly evolved as I’ve been trying to improve our diet around here. The buttermilk makes the bread light, even though I use some wholemeal flour. When I don’t have any buttermilk, I add a splash of vinegar to normal milk and let it stand for a minute or two. It works just as well.
This dough is really wet and sticky, but that creates a moist soft bread. Don’t be tempted to add more flour. You will not be able to knead this dough easily by hand. I’ve also found a single rise works fine for this dough (which saves a bit of time). If you have time, feel free to do a first rise in the stand mixer bowl before punching down and putting in the bread tin.
It makes delicious toast, and is pretty good for sandwiches too.
A double batch fits perfectly in my Kenwood Stand Mixer, and means I’m not having to make bread every other day.
Here’s the recipe:
- 150g (5oz) buttermilk
- 230g (8oz) lukewarm water
- 150g (5oz) wholemeal spelt flour
- 350g (12oz) white spelt flour (I use unbleached)
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 20g (3/4oz) olive oil
- First place buttermilk and water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Then add flours, yeast, salt and olive oil.
- With a dough hook, mix on speed 1 for 1 minute, until all ingredients are well combined. Increase speed to 2 and continue to mix/knead for 4 more minutes. This is a really sticky, wet dough – don’t be tempted to add more flour!
- Scrape and pour dough into a greased and/or floured bread tin. Leave to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. I usually pop mine in the microwave (not turned on) with a cup of boiling water. This provides temperature and steam to help with rising. Depending on the temperature and your yeast, you may need more or less time. Check your dough every 15 minutes to see how it’s going (and just be patient if it’s cold!).
- Pop the dough in the oven (pre-heated to 180°C/350°F) and bake for 45 minutes (or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom).
- Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing (if you can wait!).
Get perfect lukewarm water using a quarter of a cup of boiling water and top up with tap water to the required amount.
1. Substitute buttermilk with normal milk and a splash of vinegar.
2. Get perfect lukewarm water using a quarter of a cup of boiling water and top up with tap water to the required amount.
I still need to start making my own wraps, but I’m well on the way to removing store-bought bread products from my house.
What’s your favourite bread?