The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

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Angela Woodford
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The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by Angela Woodford » Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:20 am

OK, the white flag goes up.

I'm a good cook. I love to cook, BUT....

can I produce a perfect stoneground wholemeal loaf? Nah. I used to work near Cranks, Marshall Street, W1, where I could buy a fabulous loaf; totally delicious and light! I learned breadmaking from the accurately acid tongue and scathing efficiency of Miss Jukes. No technical fault could have slipped past that beady eye. Kneading, proving in the wonderful hot cupboardy fixture, the right oven temperature, all the theory.

How is is it that when I long for a Cranks-style loaf, I produce a solid house brick? I want to do an organic loaf with lovely seeds in it... try out those alternative flours I see... Oh, and I splurged on that organic Dough Improver I saw at Lakeland, which didn't make any difference.

There. I've admitted it. :( and need tips from those more successful than I. Solid heavy house brick. :cry:
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by J.R. » Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:13 am

This sounds like we have to await a reply from Notorious Neill !!!
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by Angela Woodford » Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:35 am

I'm rather hoping that sejintenej David might reply. I so enjoyed his glorious recipe with caramelly condensed milk - mmm! - he's a great cook! With Prue Leith as his always on hand cookery book. Respect.

Nono! I'm trying to concentrate on bread! :? There must be some brilliant bakers in Blueland.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:59 pm

I have just produced my favourite Loaf -----

Butter-fried Walnut pieces in a 16 oz loaf, light airy, and a talking point with guests !

But, But, ----- the confessional --- I use a Bread Machine !!! -- I gave up the hand-kneading (Twice) the proving, the baking, and the glazing, with Poppy seeds, a long time ago, O do , but seldom, still glazs and seed, while piping hot --- But !

I am quite willing to give my full recipe to anyone who is interested on this Topic ---

Any requests ?

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by anniexf » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:08 pm

Angela, I've never made a wholemeal loaf, but my mother's often came out on the "heavy" side :oops: ! ISTR she favoured sunflower oil in her recipe. Anyway, would this be any help?

http://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-cook/ ... bread.html

Please don't feel insulted - I'm too chicken to try it myself! :(

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by Angela Woodford » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:30 pm

Ann - amazing!

A no-kneading method? It sounds like heresy to one terrorised by Miss Jukes... :shock: Rising overnight at room temperature? Surprise! I love the name of the writer - "Doris Grant". Doesn't it sound healthy and wholemealy? :lol:

I have printed out this method, and will try it! Thank you!

I do love stoneground wholemeal bread!
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by anniexf » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:06 pm

Angela Woodford wrote:
I love the name of the writer - "Doris Grant". Doesn't it sound healthy and wholemealy? :lol:


My mother had Doris Grant's book, years before stoneground flour etc. became generally available at a reasonable price, & used to quote from it vehemently, especially the bit about the agene that was used to bleach flour whiter-than-white. Mum became rather a zealot, which put me off ever trying to make it! My daughter does though, self-taught, & very nice it is too. Do let me know if the recipe works, then I can ponder having a bash myself! :D

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by Angela Woodford » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:33 pm

You bet I will, Ann!

Tomorrow is shopping day - I'll get the good flour ( +sunflower oil!) and do your mamma's method!
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by sejintenej » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:48 pm

Angela Woodford wrote:I'm rather hoping that sejintenej David might reply. I so enjoyed his glorious recipe with caramelly condensed milk - mmm! - he's a great cook! With Prue Leith as his always on hand cookery book. Respect.

Nono! I'm trying to concentrate on bread! :? There must be some brilliant bakers in Blueland.
I've been busy for a while so only now trying to catch up.

Never tried wholemeal bread - foccaccia with olives and my own sundried (oven actually) tomatoes is my thing.
However, I was on a course in April where we had to make white bread; the instructor was most insistant that kneading must take an absolute minimum of 10 minutes and not to when the dough feels right before that. He had a rather violent way of kneading (which is in the books):
slam the lump of dough down hard
with the heel of one hand (and the other hand pressing down on it) push down and away on the dough so it is +/- 3 times as long as wide.
fold front to middle, fold back on top so you have a squareish lump.
lift, turn 90 degrees and slam down hard
repeat.

It was interesting in the library reading one of the Roux Brothers' books about baking - he has always lived in England but he still insists on French Type 55 flour - which is what we call bread making flour - though he uses it for all sorts of things like pastry (I use ordinary plain flour but double sifted to get air in it for pastry).

Prue Leith - yes but also I got an English translation of Pellaprat (an old French culinary bible from the 1950's), English translation of Paul Bocuse, umpteen Sainsburys and similar magazines, a string of French booklets, files of cuttings and 72 internet favourites. The one thing I don't have is my birth mother's notebook - she was chef in a "big house" and, especially when there were guests) things had to be perfect.

HTH Angela. Good luck

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:29 am

Talk of Wholemeal Bread --- reminds me of the CH biscuits, which we had, in House, every night ----- together with soup.
I loved the biscuits, large and wholemeal, from the local Mill and Bakers, Prewitts --- do they still exist ?

The soup was aways hot and good -- but I didn't dare for "Carrot" -- which was far too sweet for my taste !

I make a lot of soups now --- but "Carrot" ain't one of them !!! :oops:

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by Angela Woodford » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:12 am

anniexf wrote:My mother had Doris Grant's book, years before stoneground flour etc. became generally available at a reasonable price, & used to quote from it vehemently, especially the bit about the agene that was used to bleach flour whiter-than-white. Mum became rather a zealot, which put me off ever trying to make it! My daughter does though, self-taught, & very nice it is too. Do let me know if the recipe works, then I can ponder having a bash myself! :D

I had to be away from home all yesterday, so had to curb my impatience. However, the Doris Grant loaf is now assembled and rising at room temperature... "the longer you leave it to rise naturally... the better the bread".

Oh Doris!

I was literally in agony, not going into the B Jukes kneading method. (refer to the title of Katharine's topic "CH never leaves you".) I could hear her voice in my brain.

BJ: Come along now, Angela Marsh - tip the bwead dough onto the flouwered surface! Knead it!

Me: (meekly) Er no, Miss Jukes, it's going to rise all day at room temperature. It's the famous Doris Grant method.

BJ: (her voice rising in furious sarcasm) Dowis Gwant? Dowis Gwant?? This Dowis Gwant won't get you thwough your 'A' level, believe me!

(Miss Jukes rolls her eyes and looks around the rest of the group labouring in the Cookery School. There is a faint titter of syncophantic laughter. Gratified, she turns back to my work bench.)

BJ: And how do you think you're going to get that bwead in the oven and be cleared up by Bweak? By Jove!

Me: (mopping frantically with dishcloth) Er... um...

It's exciting, though. Will the Doris Method be successful?

A splendid explanatory and informative pm from David, too! Thank you, sir!
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by anniexf » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:33 pm

I'm sure you'll get over those "Jukesisms" eventually, Angela! Though I don't clean shoes with CH regularity, I must admit to a "thing" about grubby taps, and if a washbasin begins to look even slightly off-white I start to feel guilty, slovenly, "below standard", etc. !
Anyway, good luck with the Doris loaf!!

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:02 pm

I LOVED Angela's description of Cookery Class at Hertford --------

Give me Corporal Punishment -- any time !


Havung read that back ----- perhaps I should amend it to " Only while at CH "

That sounds even worse --- oh dear !

My reputation is already ruined in our area --- I was sitting quietly having my hair cut, when one of the attendant Ladies came up to me and said
"Aren't you the man who thumped the mugger ?
I may have mentioned this on another Thread, but a young man confronted me, in an underpass, and demanded my Wallet, I refused, politely, at which he grabbed my lapels.
I felt sorry for him, in a way, since it was not his lucky day.
He had picked on a Geriatric, who had 33 fights as a Boxer, played Rugby and Water Polo, and was an ex-Para.
As he ran away --- I shouted after him "Tell your Friends, you were decked by an 82 year old --- but I don't think he will !

I didn't tell TBA -- who doesn't think I am safe. --- but some kind informant, in Church, spilled the beans, the story having got around the Village.
TBA was NOT impressed !!! and says I should only be allowed out on a lead :oops:

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by sejintenej » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:20 pm

NEILL THE NOTORIOUS wrote: "Aren't you the man who thumped the mugger ?
I may have mentioned this on another Thread, but a young man confronted me, in an underpass, and demanded my Wallet, I refused, politely, at which he grabbed my lapels.
I felt sorry for him, in a way, since it was not his lucky day.
:oops: very definitely so; you should have learned by now that your hands are the parts of the body most liable to damage. The crushed bits resulting from a knee smartly raised would remind him daily for the rest of his life not to be a mug.
NEILL THE NOTORIOUS wrote:TBA was NOT impressed !!! and says I should only be allowed out on a lead :oops:
Wooof wooof :bear: :reaper:

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Re: The Perfect Wholemeal Loaf

Post by Angela Woodford » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:58 pm

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Doris!

Good stoneground organic flour, lovely Dove's Farm yeast, some unrefined sugar, a little Maldon salt, water delicately adjusted to "hand-hot".... no kneading, rose beautifully for hours at room temp.... result, possibly the most heavy and solid house brick loaf I've ever produced. Hell! :twisted: Oh Doris!

:lol:

"Newly-baked bread!" I trilled encouragingly. The loaf was fallen upon and almost entirely devoured by my two *heroes. A house brick is good if eaten quickly, but once cold seems to solidify horribly quickly - eek!

I shan't give up. This was only the beginning (assumes mystical voice) of my Quest. David has alerted me to a puzzling question of the interaction between the salt and the yeast, which is interesting.

*I say "heroes" because I am planning to grow shiitake mushrooms - and they ventured out into the wilds this afternoon and brought me back two beech logs. Fantastic! but two? "You may think up other log projects" they said.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

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