Adventures with bread …

Episode one.

When my dearly beloved and I moved to the bush we bought a bread making machine.

Every now and again you eat bread that has the perfect crust, the finest crumb and a taste to die for. Nothing like that ever came out of the machine. It made bread that was better than a supermarket loaf. That’s setting the bar not far above dog turd so means very little. It was functional and fairly easy. Then one day I came across Steve …

Inspired, I followed the instructions and made this …

The key features of the process are the Dutch Oven and the wet mix plus long proof.

The wet mix is convenient, tends to give an open crumb but makes it impossible to shape the loaf except with a container. It works.

The Dutch Oven does for a single loaf what a traditional bakers oven did when loaded to the brim with loaves by helping to ensure the heat is evenly distributed and the moisture in the dough is available to help caremalise the crust. My first Dutch Oven was a cast iron camp oven and worked perfectly but after a few more adventures you may want to use a different method and it pays to buy one that can be used either way up …


If you bake in a bread pan instead of a Dutch Oven you need to get some steam in when the dough first goes in. If your oven is so equipped that can be a burst of steam, alternatively a shallow tray of water can go into the oven five minutes before the dough.

Twelve fluid ounces equals 355ml, 450°F = 230°C. I find that 235° gives a better result and I bake 20 minutes covered and 20 minutes uncovered.

The idea of beer bread took my fancy. Beer and bread are both the result of exposure of carbohydrates to yeast and have been linked since the beginning of history. I might also have started here instead …

Give it a try and let me know how you go.

Episode two will be about a week off.


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