Monday, 23 May 2016

A Worthy Effort

I do like Rachel Allen Cookbooks - and often use her 'Bake' one [great sponge recipe here] Recently I picked up three books for a pound in a CS sale and one of them was this
I have borrowed this from the library before. To get a £20- book marked down to £6 - and then finally 33.33 pence seemed a real bargain. As I am still trying to use up leftover resources, and follow HFW's shining example, I decided to make some bread. There was some fancy flour [Matthews Cotswold Crunch] in the Breadmaking Ingredients Bin. It was a bit old
A long way past its 'best before' date, to be quite truthful. Bob bought it, I think, on holiday in Norfolk, some time ago. But he had not done any breadmaking for ages, so I decided I would use it up.

She has a recipe for her Dad's brown bread which I modified

Rachel's Dad's Brown Bread

Sunflower oil, for greasing
12oz plain flour
12oz wholemeal flour
3oz bran
2oz wheat germ
2oz pinhead oatmeal or oats
2oz brown sugar
1½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
1¾ pints buttermilk

* Preheat the oven to 200ºC [180º fan]
* Grease two 2lb loaf tins with sunflower oil or line with parchment or nonstick paper.
* Place the flours, bran, wheat germ, oatmeal, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl.
* Sift in the baking powder and baking soda. Mix thoroughly.
* Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add the buttermilk.
* Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the eggs and buttermilk.
* Using one hand with your fingers open and stiff, mix in a full circle, bringing the flour and liquid together. The dough should be soft and sloppy.[oh it definitely was!]
* Divide the dough between the prepared tins and place in the centre of the oven.
* Bake 1 hour, then remove the bread from the tin and place back in the oven without the tins for 10 to 15 minutes until the loaves sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom.

Makes 2 vegetarian loaves.

Modifications; I added up the flours, bran and wheatgerm [29oz] and used 15oz plain flour, 15oz 'fancy' stuff. I did not have any buttermilk, so I used half and half milk and natural yogurt, and added 1tbsp to the milk to increase its acidity, And I sprinkled some porridge oats on top for a rustic appearance. It did rise slightly more than I expected in the tins, but smelt delicious. 
Both loaves refused to come out of the tins- but with the help of my friend Jenny, we got them out - however, the oats on top went all over the kitchen as we struggled! Thanks Jenny for the assistance.  
The first loaf sliced well, and also toasted well - but the second is still in the freezer. I was quite pleased with it - specially as it didn't have a "soda" taste, which often happens with quick breads like this. Bob described it as "worthy". That usually means 'it tastes OK, and I am sure it is doing me good, but I have tasted better in the past' 

35p for a book of great recipes, and using up my stocks ticks all the boxes for me, anyway. 


  1. Charity shops are a great source of cook books, I have lots of bargain books bought for a pound or two that I wouldn't have forked out full price for. Rachel Allen's books are great, I love her recipes, they always work!

  2. It sounds like a very worthwhile purchase that resulted I'm worthy bread!


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!