A couple of months ago I waxed lyrical about white bread I made that was the softest loveliest loaf I had made. To see this just click on the link below. This is the brown version. It worked out so well I just had to share. For those of you who can't be bothered looking back, the recipe from The Italian Baker by Carol Field is Pane in Cassetta which is a sandwich loaf. It called for the loaf to be baked in a Pullman pan. This is a long pan with a sliding lid. I had never heard of a Pullman pan let alone know what it looked like. I improvised by placing one loaf tin on top of the other. The result was amazing. I decided I would like to try one of these Pullman pans and I searched. They are not easily obtained on this side of the pond. I managed to acquire one on Ebay (Is there anything you can't buy there?) The results were good but nowhere near as good as the method I used. I am still no closer as to the reason why. Some things I think are better just accepted.
600gms/1lb 6oz white bread flour
A handful of seeds to your liking such as sunflower pumpkin etc.
400mls/14fl.oz tepid water ( You may have to add a little more because of the bran. Do so little by little)
50gms/2oz lard melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teasps salt
One envelope or a teasp of fast action yeast.
Mix all the ingredients together and knead for ten minutes by hand/ five mins with a dough hook in the mixer/approx 1 minute in the food processor.
Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl covered with cling film and leave in a warm place until doubled in size-about an hour.
Flatten the dough on a lightly floured work surface to expel the air bubbles.
Roll out to form a rectangle approx 9"x15"/23cmsx40cms.
Fold in thirds like a business letter then roll out and fold again.
Flatten the dough to fit into the buttered floured pan.
The strong and compact dough should fill the pan about half way
Place another pan of the same size, well buttered, on top.
Leave to rise in a warm place for approx 1/2 -1 hour covered with the other tin. It should rise to nearly the top of the tin
Bake in a pre-heated oven 200.C/400.F/Gas 6 for an hour.
Gently unmould onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Notes The pans I used measured 23.5 x1 9.3 x 6.99cms/9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inches
You can substitute oil instead of lard but this will make a difference to the texture.
Remember lard has half the saturated fat of butter.
I don't get on with wholemeal flour very well. I find it produces a loaf with a density I dislike. That is why I use white flour and add bran.
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