Homemade Bread And Butter

10 Dec

When I quit my job to follow my passion for food, I was given a bread maker as a farewell gift and I finally used it for the first time today! I flicked through the instruction book and chose a basic crusty white french loaf with the simplest ingredients, to test the machine. When I arrived in the baking section of the supermarket, it was like seeing the products through different eyes. I had never taken notice of all the different types of flours, yeasts and bread improvers before. I usually just buy plain flour, self raising or organic flour.

The process for making French bread takes nearly 4 hours so I didn’t want to waste my time on a dud loaf, especially since I got mum’s hopes up of coming home to a hot crusty loaf. I selected a bread mix that is listed in the bread maker instruction booklet to minimise room for error; making bread is a science I’m not yet experienced in.

There are different instructions on the bread mix packet to the bread maker book so I made sure I followed the bread maker book. Firstly, I removed the basket from the bread maker, washed it in warm, soapy water and dried it thoroughly. Then I measured exactly 415ml of warm water; it’s important that the water is not too hot or cold.

I then poured the water into the basket, followed by the flour, made a well in the top for the yeast and closed the lid.

I selected the setting for a medium colour crust French loaf and eagerly pressed the start button. I watched with curiosity as the blade combined the flour and yeast with the water and formed a sticky, glutenous ball.

The ball had moved to the right and on the left was still a lot of dry flour that wasn’t mixing into the dough. I wasn’t sure what to do so I called the customer service line and Pam told me to add a little water and push the dough to the other side. I was worried that the timing would be thrown out but Pam reassured me “it’s not like a washing machine, it will keep mixing when you lift the lid”. I told Pam it was my first time using the machine and that I was watching the dough as if it were paint drying; we had a little giggle.

The process for the setting I selected is as follows:

1st knead 2 mins, 2nd knead 28 mins, 1st rise 20 min, punch down 15 secs, 2nd rise 50 mins, punch down 10 secs, 3rd rise 65 mins, bake time 65min: total time 3hr 50min.

As soon as the timer beeped I took the basket out of the bread maker using oven mitts and turned the loaf out onto a wooden board. The smell of freshly baked bread wafted through the entire house.

The loaf rose above the basket so it doesn’t look pretty but I can tell you it tasted sooo yummy! It was warm and moist and perfect with the butter I made while the bread was baking.

I also had a slice of bread with the thickened cream I saved while making the butter and some of my mulberry jam from an earlier post.

To make the butter, I started with 600ml of pure cream, not thickened cream that contains gelatine and other thickeners. Leave the cream out of the fridge to come to room temperature before you start.

Start whipping the cream in a large bowl on low speed to prevent too much splattering.

Once the cream thickened, I scooped some out to have on the bread later.

In a matter of seconds the cream started to separate.

And then it became butter and butter milk.

I scooped out the butter with my hands, formed it into balls and squeezed out as much liquid as I could. Then I placed the butter in a hand held strainer and rinsed off the residue from the butter milk. You can leave the butter unsalted if you wish but I decided to add some. On it’s own the butter tasted too salty but once it was spread on the bread it was just right.

The weather was hot today so I worked quickly to prevent the butter melting and I put it in a container to be refrigerated.

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4 Responses to “Homemade Bread And Butter”

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