Reply To: @oldles and Others. Bread making.
Oldles certainly does make his own bread. However, it is wholemeal, not white.
We use an oldish Panasonic. and i think they are about the best machines. OK, I have only tried machines (often unmarked) acquired at the amenity site, at least four other makes, and so far the Panasonic is best.
Edp is correct about salt doing its best to kill yeast, but having said that, I have tried separating the two asEdp says, but find no difference to when Tamara makes it, and I can not influence how she does it.
You must use strong bread flour. We used flour from our local millers (Laxey Mills), which uses Manx cereals (wheat) only. If we get big seasonal variations, the “rise” varies. About two years ago, there was a sudden deterioration in the loaf’s rise. I rang the mills, and it seemed they had changed the bran content from about 8% to around 11%. I had a chat with the baker at a local bread and cake shop, and he said he used very little of their wholemeal, and that the best flour was from Canada, and he gave me about a kilogram to try. Big difference. For my own interest, I wrote a report, which measurements of the loaf height, and photos. i decided to send a copy to Laxey mills, but contacts were blocked by a now out of date”Captcha” system, so they never got it. We then tried wholemeal flour from M&S, very good. More recently we tried the Laxey product again, and it was very good, so we only use that now.
If I wanted white bread, I would change to 100% strong white, and probably halve my yeast content.
On the topic of not using a machine, I tried a different method whilst Tamara was away. She thought it was stupid, when we had a machine to do everything for us. I did a “normal ” mix, loaded it into the bread machine, and let it run, until it had dropped in the fruit, then stirred that in. I then switched off, removed the dough and divided it into three lots. Each lot went into a small bread tin, and was stood on the rack above the Rayburn to rise, usually about one hour. When risen sufficiently, transferred to the oven at around 300 F (150C), and again one hour gave three small loaves. Two in freezer, one to eat directly.
I will attach a copy of my recipe, and anybody wanting my “report” can ask.