Sunday, April 1, 2012

One step forward, one back

This weeks #shortandtweet challenge offered a range of loaves to try with the hope that the sunny weather would continue and we could indulge ourselves with home made loaves for a picnic in the sunshine. Well the weather has stayed pretty light and sunny but my loaves are rather leaden.

I have made two attempts at the Multigrain and Honey Loaf from page 39 of Dan Lepard's book Short and Sweet. In my first attempt I produced a very damp loaf that had a beautiful looking and tasting crust but there the beauty ended. The crumb was damp and leaden and only very thin slicing and toasting made it at all pleasant to eat.

Grain and Honey Loaf Loaf Version 1 

I blamed myself for this as I had not allowed the loaf to rise quite as much as I thought it should but I was running late and wanting it baked up so I could get to bed. I had baked it for the full amount of time in a hot oven so was quite surprised when the crumb was so damp and heavy.

Grain and Honey Loaf Loaf Version 2

I really liked the flavour of the loaf, so a few days later I had another go but when making the 'porridge' of oats and seeds I only added 75ml of boiling water instead of the 100ml called for. The dough was less sticky to handle and I was optimistic of a better result. I may have proved the loaf slightly too long though as when it was baked up I had no oven spring at all. My central cut barely moved apart during the baking.  I baked the loaf for longer than stated giving it another 15 minutes out of the tin, directly on the hot bake stone.

I do have a better crumb this time but the crust is not so good, thicker and hard, rather than crispy and sweet.

So good flavour, serious problems with texture and not really a picnic loaf but not bad toasted and buttered and as Dan said it does stay moist.


  1. We have very sweet taste in some savoury items and I'm fond of this with a peanut chutney.

    We used Flahavan's Jumbo Oats so our grains were more nicely soaked grains than a porridge (this will be in the compendium post). Although it's much of a muchness here (because of the linseeds & sunflower seeds), we sieved out the bran from the wholemeal flour and only added it in at the end of the 2nd microknead.

    We overnighted the sponge: the dough had slightly too long of a rest between the microkneads and then had such a lengthy bulk prove that it had semi-collapsed. That said, a vigorous re-shape and it proved in the tin which demonstrated that the yeast hadn't run out (after all, it had plenty of honey to feed it).

    With a tin loaf, we usually take it out of the tin at 15-20mins (when it holds its shape). We then lie it on each side & the bottom for the remaining bake time because otherwise the sides of a tin loaf can be uninteresting.

  2. I've included your baker's shuffle(one bake forward, another bake back) write-up in: ShortandTweet 22: Flavourful and colourful breads. Thank you sending it on to me.

  3. It's so frustrating when bread doesn't work out the way you're expecting, especially when it looks done but is gummy. The second loaf looks like it has a good crumb though.