... as you can imagine, when you run your own business as The Viking and I do it can be both challenging and rewarding in too many ways for me to go into...
Saturday, 19 February 2011
I use 23x13.5x6cm /9"x5"x21/2"(nearly three pounds) loaf tin which gives a large loaf .
If you don't have a tin this size two regular 2lb loaf tins will do giving you of course two loaves.
100gms/4oz porridge oats/oatmeal
400 mls /4 1/4 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons of honey
1-2 teaspoons salt
Combine these first five ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or if doing by hand a large bowl. Allow to cool giving it a stir now and then. You will have what is essentially a bowl of porridge when this bit is done.
300gms/18oz Wholemeal flour
300gms/18oz White Bread flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
175mls/3/4 cup hand hot water
When cool gradually stir in the flour and yeast. It will be a really shaggy mess.
Using the dough hook mix slowly. If doing this by hand,use your hand to combine.
Add 100mls water and continue mixing
Now, you want the dough to be soft but come away from the sides of the bowl cleanly while kneading.
Add a little water at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Turn up the mixer to medium and knead for approximately 5 minutes.
Hand workers take the dough out of the bowl and knead on a lightly oiled worktop and you get to knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth ,elastic and satiny.
Now oil a bowl and form your dough into a ball. Turn it round in the oiled bowl (stops it sticking) and then leave it in the bowl cover loosely with cling film or place inside a carrier bag (this keeps the moisture in) and leave for about an hour until it has roughly doubled in size.
When this is done oil your work top and hands to keep the stickies away and gently pull your dough out onto the work top.
Dimple it out flat with your fingers to disperse the air.
Now take an oiled rolling pin and roll it out into a rectangle about 18 inches by 12 inches.
Fold it over towards you like a business letter. You know the top half down and the bottom half up and over it.
Now take the side end and fold it over the top towards the centre then the other end and fold it over that, turn it once and perform the whole thing again.
Once folded ease the sides down and press the top until you get a cob shape that will fit lengthwise into your tin/tins
If using two tins cut the dough in half before shaping.
A little milk in a flat rectangular or oval container
A handful of oats ground up finely in the food processor (or just some wholemeal flour if it is more convenient.) also in a flat container
Now dip the smooth side of your cob(s) in the milk and then the flour of your choice. Place into your greased tin(s) flour side up of course.
Place the tin(s) in a plastic bag leaving a balloon shape while tucking in the ends under the tin to keep it moist. Leave in a warm place to rise again for 30-40 minutes..
A good test of when this rise is finished is lightly jiggle the loaf at the end of the tin. When it is ready you will feel it wobble slightly like a jelly. You really will feel it.
Now slash the tops diagonally with a serrated knife two or three times. This will allow the loaf to rise without splitting in odd places.
Put the bread into the oven and bake for about half an hour.
The loaf should be a nice golden brown, feel firm and crusted on the top and when tipped out of the tin it should tap hollow on the base.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.