Already week three of the Great British Bake Off and it's bread week... Have you got a favourite contestant yet? I can't pick a favourite but I know who I don't like... However I'll keep quiet on that subject! And Val? How on earth is she still in? Ah well, it makes good television I suppose!
We ran out of bread at the beginning of the week so I made a sunflower seed and honey loaf which a reliable favourite in our house... and good practise for bread week! It was actually meant to be a plaited loaf but the dough was a bit wet so the plait disappeared... I'd have lost marks for that but it still tastes good!
It has made lovely toast for breakfast but as it is a tried and tested recipe it didn't seem fair to enter it for this week's Great Bloggers Bake Off hosted by Jenny of Mummy Mishaps
Now I made a decision last week that I would attempt to make the technical challenge each week... but Dampfnudeln? Really. They sound pretty uninspiring and looked it too if I'm honest. So instead I decided to try a chocolate bread. I used Andrew's Chocolate Barmbrack recipe from the show but tweaked some of the ingredients.
I used 70g of raisins and 30g of dried cranberries for the fruit... and also 30g of dried apricots instead of the peel because I really don't like candied peel in cakes or bread. I didn't have any mixed spice so used a mixture of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. the recipe called for two and a half tablespoons of spice which seems a lot... so I think it's a misprint and should be teaspoons. And last of all I used a mix of chopped dark and milk chocolate instead of chocolate chips.
The dough was wet... very wet! But I've worked with wet dough before and with a bit of patience and perseverance it usually firms up and turns out better for it. But this just stayed really wet! And it didn't rise much even though I left it for hours! I know my yeast was okay as I'd only just used it three days ago so can only imagine it was the fact that it was such an enriched dough. I stuck it in a cool oven to help it along a bit... which it did, but of course it also melted the chocolate so my intention to knock it back, knead it and give it a second rise didn't quite work out. Instead I tipped it into a loaf tin (it would never have worked free form), let it rise a bit more and then baked it!
It made the kitchen smell good as it baked but it looked a little dark when it came out of the oven. Not burnt exactly but in Selasi's words... slightly caught... crispy!
And my verdict... still a bit doughy, far too much spice for my taste despite using less than the recipe required... and I've decided that I really do not like chocolate in bread! I've never been a fan of Pain au Chocolate so I guess I should have known really. So it looks like I might be making Dampfnudeln after all, so I think I'll wait before adding my link. But do check out what other bloggers have baked by following the links here.