Okay I have to put my hand up – like many over the past few months, I’ve caught the breadmaking bug. I’m not a big bread eater, however I’ve found breadmaking to be a lot of fun. I must admit I do like a good fruit bread especially if it’s loaded with dried fruit like figs and apricots.
Breadmaking hadn’t really interested me previously as it always seemed to be quite a labour intensive and time-consuming job. That was until we decided to stock the Simply No Knead range of bread flours. The more I studied the recipes, the more I realised how easy this breadmaking was. It was so simple. Mix all the dry ingredients, add oil and water, mix, let the bread mix rise, then bake it. How easy is that??
Simply No Knead have a range of bread flour mixes as well as bread flours. In the bread mixes we are stocking the Dark Rye, Light Rye, Pizza Mix, Sourdough and Tuscany. These are all blended breadmaking flours which can be made by hand or in a bread machine. They already have the correct amount of bread improver added. All you need is to add yeast, water and oil and any other seeds or fruit you may like to add.
In the bread flour range, we stock Untreated Bread Flour (also known as unbleached bread flour); 100% Rye Flour; Wholemeal Stoneground Flour; Wholemeal Spelt Flour and White Spelt Flour.
Untreated Bread Flour is a high quality white breadmaking flour which has not been bleached. We’re often asked about the difference between unbleached and bleached flour. Bleached flour is whiter in colour, softer in texture and a finer grain and is treated with chemical agents to speed up the ageing process. Unbleached flour has a denser grain and tougher texture. The No Knead bread also has a high protein content which means it does not need to be kneaded.
The Wholemeal Stoneground Flour is a high-quality breadmaking flour. It contains the whole of the wheat grain ensuring all the vitamins, minerals and fibre remains. The flour also has a high protein content suitable for breadmaking. You can also combine the 100% wholemeal stoneground flour with the untreated bread flour to make a lighter loaf.
100% Rye Flour is ground from the centre endosperm of the rye berry. It does not contain any of the outer seed coat, the bran or the germ which means the flour stays light in colour. Rye flour is often used typically in European bread recipes. It can be mixed with other bread flours to complement the bread with the flavour of rye.
Spelt Flour originates from an ancient grain and is one of the three original wheat varieties from which wheat is derived today. Although spelt is a form of wheat, the gluten in spelt has a different molecular structure to that in wheat. It is more water soluble making it easier to digest. Spelt also contains more fibre than wheat and it is believed this extra fibre may aid in the digestion of the gluten. That means some people who suffer from wheat sensitivity may be able to tolerate spelt.
Below are two of the breads I’ve been making regularly. I have been using the Light Rye Bread Mix, however there are many recipes on the Simply No Knead website which you can follow.
FIG AND APRICOT FRUIT BREAD
600g Light Rye Bread Mix (or any bread mix); 1 rounded tablespoon SKN Active Dry Yeast; 500ml warm water; 2 tsp cold pressed sunflower oil; 1 cup chopped Dried Figs; 1 cup Dried Apricots (cut in half); 1 cup Dried Cranberries; 1 Star Anise; 5 cloves; 2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
Place dried figs, cranberries, star anise and cloves in saucepan and just cover with water. Simmer for 10 minutes and leave for an hour. Drain dried fruit.
Mix flour, yeast and cinnamon with dried apricots and dried fruit mixture. Make a well in middle of the mixture and pour oil and water, adding small amounts at a time as you are mixing until you have a stiff moist dough. Only use the amount of water you need to get to this texture – there may be up to a 100ml of water left over.
Cover the dough and allow the dough to double in size in around 30 mins. Turn the dough onto a floured board. Shape the dough into a smooth ball, then divide in half. Shape each half into a small ball. Lightly oil a 700g bread tin. Place both halves of dough into the tin, spray with water. Nuts or seeds may also be sprinkled on top. Allow the dough to double in size the place in preheated oven and cook for 30 mins or until golden brown.
To clean bread tin, wait until cool and wipe out with paper towel.
SUNFLOWER AND PUMPKIN SEED LOAF
600g Light Rye Bread Mix (or any Bread Mix) 1 rounded tablespoon SKN Active Dry Yeast; 500ml Warm Water; 2tsp cold pressed sunflower oil; ¾ cup sunflower kernels; ¾ cup Australian Pumpkin Seeds.
Mix flour, yeast, seeds and proceed as per the above recipe.