Friday 11 February 2011

Baking bread

Oops - it's been a while since I my last post. Time just seems to fly by just now! After reading yet another article about the evils of shop-bought bread I decided to have a go at making it myself. I hoped I might have baker's genes as my Mum often used to win prizes for her bread in a local village fair she used to enter (1st prize for her cottage loaf!) So out with the bread plate (which I bought from the lovely Julie at the Cloth Shed).
And with the help fo my trusty KitchenAid mixer for the kneading of the dough, it was into the bread tin, 2 hours to rise and into the oven.
This was my first attempt, I glazed it with egg and milk as per the recipe which gave it a pastry-like shine! For my next loaf I decided to try the same recipe but to try knocking it back and allowing it to rise a second time. I used just plain milk on top of the dough to get a nice brown colour without the sheen!
This loaf has risen a bit more and was fluffier inside, but the taste was still a bit bland (I used the Hovis Granary bread mix) so I'm still on the hunt for the perfect loaf!
We've also been making a few more home improvements to our cottage. There was a funny alcove space under the stairs which we couldn't really use for anything. Instead of leaving it as dead space we decided to get shelves made and fixed into the area so that we could use it as a book shelf - storage space is always as issue in a cottage! Here is the result:
 We've still got a few more things to put on them and maybe a bit more aesthetic tweaking to do but they add a nice bit of interest to an otherwise empty space.
And they are very handy for displaying my collection of old books!

I've also been spending a lot of time in the garden; clearing up leaves, weeding and finally getting round to training the rather wild climbing rose up against the garden wall. I forgot to take photos of this but here are some photos of some beautiful tulips I bought to remind me that spring is around the corner!


  1. Ooh that bread look so delicious...perfect warm with lashings of butter! Don't suppose you'll want to eat shop bought after that.
    What a good idea to use that space for the shelves,I bet you had fun arranging everything on them..that's the bit I like best! :0)

  2. That bread looks so delicious, I love it hot from the Aga with real butter spread all over it!! The shelves look great, a good use of space. Love the corner cupboard in the background on the last photograph.
    Jo xx

  3. Hi Charlotte,

    Your bread looks like it came from the bakery!! I had a baking machine as well for some time, but unfortunately I don't have baker's genes like you do.

    The shelves in the alcove look very pretty!

    Happy weekend!


  4. Well done on the bread. My hubby makes excellent bread (and pizza dough), so I'll see what he recommends. When I was last over in the UK, I stayed with friends, they had a special flour delivered to make their own bread and it was delicious, so I'll do some digging! Love to see pictures of your cottage! Lx

  5. Great bread obviously made it to fit the glass bread plate....perfect size!
    Your shelves look lovely with your old books/pictures and that is the sweetest corner cupboard too.

    Julie x

  6. Bread looks yummy! I like to put some olive oil in my mix (about a tablespoon or so for a 3lb (is that 1.5 kg?) bag of flour) - seems to make it tastier and less dry the next day. Love the shelves :)

  7. OOOh yummy bread I really must have a go I have got some yeast in the cupboard that's been waiting for me to use but I still haven't got round to it.
    Your shelves look lovely I really like the old books .
    xx fee