I have never made bread from scratch before – I have only really used the bread mixes you buy in the supermarkets about three times and with varying success. I missed Bread Week during GBBO, I can’t remember why but I did, which meant that my bread baking cherry was still very much intact – I’ve never even used yeast in a recipe before.
After the last couple of weeks of flu and tiredness and whatnot, getting back into the kitchen and baking was high on my priority list. I hadn’t realised just how much I have come to rely on baking as a de-stressing activity during the week and I have really missed it.
My pretty bag of Tesco Finest* bread flour has been staring at me in the cupboard ever since it arrived but my fear of bread has kept it there until today when I decided it was time I got brave and took the plunge. A quick read of the internet gave me the basic guidelines for bread and I decided that rather than making a boring loaf of bread I was going to just go for it and try something more exciting.
After a rummage round the kitchen for ingredient ideas I decided on trying to make a cheese, garlic and smoked sausage tear and share style loaf as there was a chance that the kids would eat it as well as Caius and I.
I used this recipe from the BBC Good Food website and simply added chopped smoked sausage and a sprinkling of Italian seasoning before putting the cheese on top and leaving it to prove.
The result was tasty with a nice light texture although I thought it was perhaps slightly too salty so next time I might use unsalted butter instead. It was also a bit chunky for a tear and share loaf in places – I needed to be a bit firmer with the dough and stretch it out more before adding the toppings I think.
Many thanks to Tesco for providing me with a bag of their Finest* flour to bake with as part of the Great Bloggers Bake Off. Considering I had no idea what I was doing or how things should work, I can only credit the utter success of the bake to the quality of my ingredients as I have no experience to draw on!