Did you watch the final of the Great British Bake off last night? I don't know how they came to a decision between the final 3, they were so close! I would have been happy whoever won, I kept changing my mind every time they presented another delicious baked goodie. I think my favourite from the final was Ruth's Mint, Ginger & Blackberry cakes, they looked so gorgeous. Just reinforced the fact that I need to go on a cake decorating course to make mine look a little prettier! There's talk of another series for next year...hmm, maybe?? In the meantime I've signed up for the Great Brownie Bake Off that's being hosted by The Chocolate Consultancy on October 9th, so I'll be spending the next 3 weeks perfecting my brownies!
This week, having more time, I decided to have a go at making bread. I've always cheated & used my bread maker, but thats now been banished to the back of the cupboard to make space in my kitchen for my new coffee machine. It was pretty simple to make actually, you just need patience, checking the airing cupboard every 10 minutes to see how it's doing is probably not ideal! I decided to go for a rich fruit bread that I could either eat for breakfast or afternoon tea.
250g strong white bread flour
35g butter melted
35g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
7g sachet dried yeast
1 egg beaten
1 tsp ground cinnamon
30g mixed peel
75ml milk mixed with 75ml water
Zest of 1 orange & 1 lemon (plus a little squeeze of lemon juice
1. Put the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter & egg into a large bowl. Add the liquid a little at a time, once it's all combined, stir for at least 3 minutes. Tip out the dough onto a surface dusted with flour & knead for a further 5 minutes. Add a little more flour if needed to get a smooth elastic dough. Pop it back in the bowl & leave to rise for 1.5 hours.
2. Mix the fruit, spice & zest together in a bowl. Tip out the dough back onto the board & combine the fruit mixture into the dough. Shape it into a sausage & place it on a baking tray lined with parchment. Leave to rise for another hour.
3. Bake in the oven at 220c/GM7 for 20 minutes until golden brown. Lift out & leave to cool on a rack.
I'm so chuffed with my first from scratch loaf of bread. It's delicious sliced, toasted & smothered in butter, I can highly recommend it! Have a good week everyone, see you next week, Rebecca x
p.s. has anyone else made their Christmas cake yet? I'm starting to stress it's nearly October & I haven't made mine yet...I'm losing valuable alcohol soaking time!!