I think it is safe to say I have gone bread baking mad. I think that over the last month I have settled into baking bread more often than cakes or cookies or anything else sweet...I feel that this year (as opposed to last year's resolution) I have really embraced baking bread from scratch.
On Saturday I had planned to make a cinnamon raisin loaf...something to toast in the mornings (I am a total bread warden when it comes to slicing the sandwich loaves) or to snack on with a cup of tea in the afternoons...but when I spied Dan Lepard's recipe for Winter Apple Loaf I immediately wrote myself a shopping list and ran out to Sainsburys.
There is no picture of this loaf in Short & Sweet...Dan's description totally drew me in...log fires...real ale...pulled pork sandwiches. Ok, ok, ok...not exactly the sweet raisin cinnamon bread I had in mind, but in my mind's eye I could just picture the roaring fire and me cuddled up on the couch with a hunk of this bread slathered in butter and cheese...or even honey.
This bread was interesting to make, you put all the wet ingredients into a large bowl and then add the flour on top. The dough was wet...really wet and I ended up adding some extra flour when I kneaded it...for longer than the recommended 10 seconds. I am totally on board with Lepard's gentle kneading routine, I just really didn't feel that this dough was right and seeing as there was no reference in the text to this being a wet dough I just went with my gut.
In the end the bread turned out amazing...but I have to admit I did agonise over it for the hour and 45 min it took to proof. If you do make this loaf I would suggest letting it cool completely before cutting into it...it is a dense loaf and felt a bit too moist when still warm...but later on, when completely cooled it was AMAZING!Tweet