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Bread

For at least the last fifteen years we have owned a Panasonic baking machine, in fact we now have two, the second bought on a special offer at Costco or John Lewis ( can’t recall which) in anticipation of the first one breaking down, which it hasn’t yet. We stopped using either a few years back because the bead was so much better than the bought variety that we ate too much also it was of a slightly eccentric shape and not so easy to cut.

A  year or so ago I chanced on an article on the benefits of stone ground flour as opposed to the roller ground variety  So I bought four bags of stone ground wholemeal from the Bacheldre watermill (which Christina will be pleased to know is in Wales….maybe she already knows ? ) via amazon. The very first loaf I baked was a revelation, it was quite dense and nothing like as light and soft as  conventional loaves either ‘wholemeal’ or white. But the taste ! Absolutely great, a still warm slice with butter and strawberry jam beats the hell out of most cakes. Mrs J however was not so much of a fan and didn’t kick the bought bread habit until I got some Organic Stoneground Strong Unbleached White flour from the same source and she then became a convert.

Recently shopping at Waitrose I saw some spelt flour and bought some to try out, I wasn’t disappointed, Spelt bread is absolutely great, it’s unexpectedly soft and has a distinctive flavour. Spelt is a very old wheat from 5000bc according to wiki, and is enjoying a resurgence in the health food market. Never mind the health, I’d buy it for the taste alone. Currently we bake our wholemeal and unbleached  white bread with 30% spelt flour which produces a really nice bread. When we’ve run down our stocks of wholemeal and white stoneground we might go 100% spelt.

My recomendation to all charioteers. Go out and buy a bread maker and some stoneground flour.

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Categories: General
  1. Four-eyed English Genius
    February 11, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Jazz: Absolutely agree about the utility of a bread maker. Ours is a Kenwood with a timer. Wonderful to wake up to the smell of fresh baked bread for breakfast. It also has a little jobbie that lets you seed the loaf with seeds, (would you believe), dried fruits, sun dried tomatoes etc,.

    I agree with your comment about needing good flour to get good bread. We will look into using spelt flour. We have never tried that.

    Fortunately, we have sufficient self control to limit our intake to the NHS Stasi “recommended” amount, or at least MRS FEEG does, and she rations it accordingly.

  2. February 11, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Jazz, informative info, thanks. Dastardly, I’m quite lazy and it’s quicker buying a loaf from the local shop.
    And to offer an alternative to the healthy option you’re proposing, I have a pie maker which can manufacture all sorts of culinary delights. Chicken tikka pie, anyone?

  3. February 11, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    As they say in Bavaria, bread is beer and beer is bread. Cheers, guys! 🍺🍻

  4. christinaosborne
    February 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I rarely eat bread but find the most successful loaves are made from using a proportion of whole grain with refined white flours to give less density.
    100% whole grain anything makes a very solid somewhat indigestible loaf. Too damned worthy for words!
    Experiment to find the proportion that suit you, generally somewhere about 40/60 either way.

  5. February 12, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Christina, “….100% whole grain anything makes a very solid somewhat indigestible loaf……”

    100% whole grain certainly produces a pretty solid loaf (indigestible it is not 😉 ) It makes great toast.

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