bread

Super Soft and Crunchy Bloomer Bread

Mmmmmmm, basil! They inspire me=) And also perfectly matching the spring mood which I hope will keep my spirits up. But actually this herb is not the hero of my post today, but the aroma it spreads each time I open the bag with these wonderful leaves. But it’s just that the bread which I baked yesterday and tasted today at breakfast, has created this connection somehow.  The thing is hat I just couldn’t keep myself from adding something extra to a supposedly all-white bread, so I added some flax meal which in its turn added this slightly violetish colour, as well as a bit of health, I hope=)

Each time I plunge my hands into dough, I realise that is what I enjoy most – bread baking! Yesterday, when at the same time I was making this bread, pastry for a cheesecake and cookie dough (both coming soon), each time I switched back to this soft pillow-like yeast dough, my hands as if were telling me ‘yep, girl, that’s what’s best of all!’

I happen to have fresh yeast again and I was searching for a recipe of what I call ‘artisan’ bread, as I also miraculously happen to be AGAIN unemployed now and so have enough time to bake whatever I like with frequent va-et-vient towards my laptop to check the headhunter website I’m mostly using. However, this recipe turned out to be a very lazy one, though it requires time – but you will not spend it kneading or  doing anything else with the dough.  Look here:

Bloomer adapted from tasteofpearlcity.blogspot.com  – a lazy recipe which will make a perfect loaf, soft inside and crunchy outside!

Ingredients

  • 675g  unbleached white bread flour – I used regular all purpose + about 25 g of flax meal
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 15 g fresh yeast – don’t forget to get some for the recipe
  • 430 ml lukewarm water

For the topping

  • 30 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt – this is what made it so crunchy and chewy, I suppose!
  • poppy seeds for sprinkling – here they are:

{my bread gained its strange form because when I turned it over before slashing, the seam side got on top and at 230 ‘C it just couldn’t resist the heat and broke off like this}

{but it’s even better, hm?}

Method (I’m copying the recipe)

Combine flour, salt, yeast and water together to make smooth dough (here I first diluted my yeast in water and then added the mixture to the flour blend and salt), transfer the dough to a work surface, sprinkle with  flour and knead the dough smooth and elastic for at least 10 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl, covered with oiled cling film and leave it at  room temperature to rise for about 5 to 6 hours or until doubled in bulk (I left it for 6 hours).

Knock the dough back, knead it again for 5 minutes, cover the dough and leave it in room temperature for 2 hours or more (I let it rise just a bit over 2 hours).

Take the dough, knock the air back, roll it into a rectangle, shape it into a log shape, place it on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. Turn the loaf over and place on a greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper), make 6 to 7 diagonal slashes on top using a sharp knife, cover and leave it to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 230 ‘C. Mix the salt and water together and brush it on top of the loaf, sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Spray the oven with water and bake the bread immediately for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200 ‘C (here I got lost in my computer and forgot about the time, so I did it only about 7 later, and decided to keep baking the bread at less than 200 ‘C as it was already quite brown on the top) and bake for 25 minutes or until golden on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

But the result is amazing! I’m telling you! The dough was giving off some distinctly yeasty smell while rising, I was afraid the finished bread will do the same but no such thing! The bread is wonderful, with the extra boost from flax meal it got even more interesting than a regular white bread.

And here is the special guest of our recipe – flax meal:

and these are the seeds the flour is made from:

Happy baking!

G.

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