Monday, 30 January 2012

Magically malted

#2 – Malted grain bread, River Cottage Handbook No.3 Bread

It may have taken me a ridiculous amount of time to post this, but I'll be honest I haven’t only just got round to baking this.  In fact I have baked it about four or five times – it’s that good.  I have kind a got stuck on this one, and not moved on.  Seriously good for using to make bacon and sausage sandwiches.  That’s not bacon or sausage, it’s the two of them together.  Don’t forget the HP Sauce either.

It took me a couple of shops to be able to track down malted grain flour, but I can reliable tell you, just go to Waitrose.  Malted flour has special powers, you will be hooked by it.  I’m sure it’s magical and that’s why I have not moved on to the next recipe.  As you add the warm water, the aroma is captivating.  Like being in a brewery, as you smell all the fermentation happening.  Addictive.

Malted grain bread

The magic then gets even better, once it goes in the oven, the kitchen doesn’t just smell of bread baking.  But malted bread baking, and trust me there is a big difference.  The excitement and anticipation while these were in the oven was almost too much to handle.

Malted grain bread

When the loaves come out of the oven, it has a fantastic crust on it.  With the tops slashed and having been coated in rye flour, they look like proper loaves of bread.  Impressed even if I say so myself.  The bread is so flavoursome and delicious, that you will just keep slicing it, buttering it and eating it.  One thing had concerned me though when I made the basic bread, it tasted slightly too salty.  The good news is that this one did not.


Now, while how much I love this bread, I can honestly say that so far I have not mastered it.  Still a long way from perfection.  It was a little heavy and dense, which is a sign over under-kneaded dough.  So when I make the next one, I will knead it for a little longer.  I did work the dough for 10 minutes, but maybe it needs longer or my kneading technique is just pants.

I have a feeling, that out of all the other recipes to come – this one will be my favourite.  I’d wager it would be yours too.  Put this on your list as definitely one to do.

If you have tried and/or posted about the basic bread recipe, I would love to hear how you got on with it.  If you are following along, it’ll be great to share experiences.  You can even tweet along with #rivercottagebreadjourney. 

Next up is another variation of the basic bread recipe:

#3 Page 78 - White Bread