I’ve been away from my own blog in the past week to work on helping out on someone else’s blog and website! If you love baking, and making other people happy with cake then I suggest you take a visit over to Clandestine Cake Club (preferably AFTER reading this post)!
So anyway, that’s enough explanation of me being MIA! Now onto the bread! My lovely Swedish friend Karin gave me a Swedish baking book by Leila Lindholm which is just beautiful and so I just had to make something from the book. I’ve not had a lot of success with bread making by hand recently. I had a week off a couple of weeks ago where I was working on the Clandestine Cake Club site and I had a little time to make some Finnish Pulla. I have never used dried active yeast (the non instant kind) and the first time I used it I just dissolved it in the water, left it for 5 minutes and started using it. As a result, my bread was as flat as a pancake. I read the back of the packet and it says to leave it for 15 minutes! So I tried again, left it for 15 minutes and it still came out really badly!
I was not perturbed by my unrisen bread. I see it as a challenge and I wanted to get things right. I bought myself some fresh yeast this time for this carrot bread. I’ve also been getting some fabulous tips from Jane Mason of Virtuous Bread who told me that with fresh yeast, you don’t need to dissolve it in water or leave it to activate, you can just crumble it into the mixture and knead. I just love that fresh yeast is easy to get hold of at Morrisons and I definitely think from now on, all my hand made breasd will be made with it!
This bread is quite sweet and my boyfriend thought it was too sweet to eat as a savoury sandwich, but I didn’t! I had it with some chicken, tomatoes and may and though it was delicious, but each to their own. I’ve adapted this recipe from Leila Lindholm’s “Carrot bread with walnuts”.
The process is fairly simple for this bread, here it is after 1st proving! I could tell I’d had success, look how puffed up it is!
Then roll it out, plait it and shape it into a ring. Here it is before second proving…
These are the nuts and seeds I used…
After second proving, garnish with nuts and seeds…and bake!
- 650g strong white bread flour, sifted
- 250g carrots
- 75g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 125ml milk
- 125ml orange juice
- 25g fresh yeast
- 25ml golden syrup
- ½ tbsp sea salt + ½ for topping
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp The Food Doctor spicy seed and nut blend (or your choice seed topping)
- Warm milk in a pan and warm the orange juice in a separate pan until they’re about 38°C/100°F. Combine together in a large bowl with the golden syrup, butter, salt, ground ginger and ground cloves.
- Peel carrots and grate finely and add into the bowl with the juice mixture.
- Add 300g of flour and combine, then add in the rest a little at a time until fully combined. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. The dough is quite sticky!
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes until doubled in size.
- Turn out dough onto a very well floured surface and divide into three portions. Roll out into three long rolls around a metre long.
- Lay the three long rolls together in a row and squeeze one of the ends together. Plait the bread and then squeeze the ends together. Make into a ring shape and join the ends neatly.
- Place on a baking tray, cover with a tea towel and leave for 30-40 minutes. 10 minutes before the end, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
- Bread the bread with water and top with the remaining sea salt and seeds.
- Bake in the bottom of the oven on the lowest shelf until dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.