Tuesday, 5 May 2015

On Bank Holiday Baking Disasters

I hope you all had a lovely relaxing Bank Holiday Monday.  As you know, I was grounded as my car has a problem (yet again!), it was raining heavily on and off with a lovely bit of sunshine in between and my thoughts turned to baking. I realised I had run out of bread (my usual shopping day is Monday), a quick rummage in the back of the cupboard produced a packet mix which I prepared  according to the instructions. Whilst that was proving, I thought I might make some cholesterol friendly sponge cakes using Flora instead of butter or margarine, then realised my mixing bowl was being used to prove the I had to

The sponges actually turned out ok....

Decorated with a bit of frosting (probably not cholesterol friendly on reflection) and some sprinkles, all from the pound shop, they looked reasonably tasty despite not winning a beauty contest...or British Bake Off! :)

The bread, however, was a disaster.  It simply refused to rise.  I have used this kind of packet mix before but usually in the Winter when the heating is on and I have proved it quite successfully in the airing cupboard.  Yesterday, it just wouldn't play ball :(  I moved the bowl around the kitchen trying to find the warmest place then gave in and baked it anyway.  To say it was leaden is a vast understatement.  It thudded out of the tin with a great thump onto the wooden board.  I gingerly cut into it and tasted it.  It tasted a bit like ciabatta which could be down to using oil instead of butter in the mix.  There was no way this 'bread' was going to go to waste so I sliced it up added some sliced tomato and a bit of cheese (full fat, I'm afraid) and grilled it.  It was actually quite tasty and the rest can be eaten with some homemade soup.  I actually made 2 small loaves so one is wrapped up and languishing in the freezer for another time :/

After a tip from Pam @ A New Life In Wales I tried dressing the salad leaves with Balsamic vinegar instead of salad cream (I don't eat mayo) and they were very tasty.  I think the meal fulfils one of my 5 a day too as I ate the ends of the tomato whilst waiting for the grill to do it's job.

Is anyone out there a whizz with breadmaking? How can I improve?

Onwards and upwards, dear friends!

What sort of Monday did you have?  I envy anyone who can take a walk beside the sea....

See you later! x


  1. Our success with bread is all down to the machine which makes it.

  2. Bread making is a completely 'black art' for me! Jx

  3. My go to recipe is 500grams hallf and half wholemeal and white bread flour, 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp sugar and a 7 gram packet of fast action yeast. In to the bowl and a good stir round, I use a whisk, then warm water and a glug of oil to make a fairly wet dough. I make it by hand and in the stand mixer depending on how i feel. knead for 10 minutes and leave in the bowl to rise. I splash a little oil in and turn the dough ball round to coat it. Cover with cling film and a hand towel and leave to more than double in size, knock back and shape into 2 small or 1 large loaf and cover again and leave to rise till just peeping over the tins then bake .for 30 minutes at 220 and then another 10 at 200.

    1. Thanks so much, Pam, I'll have another go and do it properly!

  4. I use my oven as a proving oven, whack it up to it's highest setting for 1 minute exactly then turn it off and pop your bread in :)

    1. A brilliant tip! Thank you I will try that sometime.