Thursday, 8 September 2016

Bread Week

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.

Mummy Mishaps


  1. There are times and places for chocolate but not in bread, I agree. What disappointment after all that effort, but at least the sunflower seed and honey loaf was a success.

  2. Interesting about the less than robust rising of the chocolate bread. Was there any mention of such a characteristic on the television program?

    Your own sunflower seed and honey bread must be so very delicious lightly toasted. Yummmmy!

    I do like pain au chocolat but don't think I have ever tried another chocolate bread although I have seen chocolate babka breads winking at me from several bakeries. xo

  3. I used to hate candied peel too until I started making my own. I just cook the peel for a while in the slow cooker and then add sugar to make a syrup and boil some more until it is a heavy syrup. It's all done by guess work though :D

  4. My Stewart would have loved your crispy topped loaf. He loves crispy and dark (well-done to the point of burnt).

  5. Dampfnudeln are nice, childhood memories for me as it is a traditional Swiss supper. Love it it with cherry compote, or custard. I am quite sure ours were baked not steamed but that may be my hazy memory. I haven't seen the GBBO yet this week so so look forward to watching it tonight. I have no favourite baker and I also know who I don't like. They seem all a bit uninspiring. Your bread looks amazing. I imagine eating a slice with peanut butter as I type. x

  6. Oh Gina, don't say you don't like someone. They're all giving it their best and I always remind myself that, deep down, it's not about the best baker, it's all about the ratings really... and it is great telly. I love it all.

  7. Your sunflower and honey bread sounds lovely, much nicer than chocolate spice bread, though I can't imagine anything you bake tasting awful! Cristina's comment about that other strange sounding bread was interesting - once you get past the name it might be good! Cheers

  8. I agree even though I adore chocolate and can't live without it in my life, I don't like it in bread. I love croissants too but pain au chocolat is just wrong.
    Poor Val... she's entertaining though! Curious as to who you don't like though.
    V x

  9. Your sunflower bread looks wonderful. As for the chocolate bread -- I'm with you -- never really been a fan of chocolate in my bread ;-D I'm anxious to see your Dampfnudeln since I have no idea what it is!

  10. Just to be contrary, I like chocolate in bread. Chocolate in anything really! Really loving the Bake Off :)

  11. Both loaves look delicious but the sunflower seed and honey would be my choice. Prefer to savour chocolate on its own. Really enjoying the GBBO but no favourites just yet.

  12. I like pan au chocolate but not too often of course! I also like chocolate chip brioche, so i guess my sweet tooth doe snot mind chocolate in bead. Both of your loaves look good, but I think as much as i like chocolate an bread, your sunflower and honey one does beat it in terms if appearance and i expect flavour.
    Well done for giving them both ago - you have been busy xx

  13. I will make one statement - Paul Hollywood is a trumped-up, miserable mysogentist. I really dislike him and - he is a rubbish baker - try following one of his recipes!


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