My new love affair with Mary Berry......
Having discovered the delights of 'The Great British Bake Off', the only programme on the television which can successfully sustain my interest for a full hour (no magazines t flick through, no trips to the kettle, not even any talking), my new love affair with Mary Berry has begun.
I have had a craving to make some bread for a while and this recipe from Mary Berry's Baking Bible caught my eye.
350g granary flour
350g strong white flour
7g sachet fast-acting yeast
2 level teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black treacle
500ml warm milk
(1 part boiling, two parts cold)
2 tablespoons ‘good’ olive oil
100g sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1 tablespoon clear honey
1. Grease 2 baking trays (or you can use Bake-o-Glide as I did instead). Briefly process the walnuts, or coarsely chop by hand, taking care to keep the pieces quite large. Set aside until ready to use.
2. Combine the flours, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. Then add the treacle, milk and olive oil and mix to form a dough, either with your hands or an electric mixer. Add a little ore milk, if necessary, to make the dough slightly sticky. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, use a mixer fitted with a dough hook for about five minutes. When ready, the dough should be smooth and leave the bowl and your hands clean.
3. Reserve about two tablespoons of the sunflower seeds, then work the rest of the seeds and the chopped walnuts into the dough. Divide the dough in half, then shape each piece into a smooth round and set in the centre of the prepared baking trays. Enclose each tray inside a large plastic bag, sealing a little air inside so that the plastic is not in contact with the bread. Leave to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size (this can take up to 1.5 hours).
4. Pre-heat the oven to 200oc or gas mark 6. To glaze the loaves, mix together the egg and the honey and brush gently over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with the reserved sunflower seeds, then bake in a re-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the loaves are a good conker brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath. If making rolls, they will need less time in the oven. Leave to cool on a wire cooking rack.
Some top tips and findings!
- I needed to use a lot more flour than it recommends in the recipe to flour the work surface.
- Ease - 6.5/10
- Taste of the finished product: 8/10
- This bread makes the best toast ever 10/10