Talk about great timing – the world is obsessed with the Great British Bake Off (or its equivalent in other countries – I’m very much enjoying the Great Irish Bake Off) – so what better way to be inspired by the new home baking craze than to try out the cookbook written by last year’s finalist, James Morton. Sweet, Shetland-born medical student James was my favourite contestant and it’s great to see he’s continuing to bake in addition to his burgeoning medical career.
Morton explains that Brilliant Bread is unusual in that it targets home bakers without bread experience – most books about bread start at a more advanced level. I’ve always had trouble with bread (my yeast doesn’t seem to like me and I’m a bad kneader) but armed with this cookbook and my stand mixer, I was ready to give it a go.
The book is great in that it’s a really comprehensive guide to basic breads (as well as a wide-reaching one – as a Yank who can’t get her bagel fix here, it’s wonderful to be able to make them myself at home!), but keen bread bakers may not find that it adds much to their advanced knowledge (although there is a very comprehensive section on sourdough.) I’d definitely recommend it for sweet bakers like me who are eager to expand into more breadmaking!
Loaf of Whole Wheat Bread (from Brilliant Bread)
300g whole wheat flour
200g white bread flour
1 packet (7g) fast action yeast
370g warm water
Place in the stand mixer for five more minutes, then allow to rise for another half of an hour. Place in well-greased loaf tin.
Turn the oven onto 210C and allow to pre-heat for about half an hour. Bake for about 25 minutes – the bread will have a lovely nice little rise. Allow to col and then slice.