doing things the victorian way

Tag Archives: staple

Bread is a staple in our home. Every culture on the planet has poverty food and said food usually includes a healthy filling of starch – be it rice, beans, potatoes, noodles or, in this case, bread. Below I’ve included two recipes – a basic bread recipe good for everything from jam & butter to sopping up gravy, and  a root vegetable bread that is just as versatile but far more nutritious. I’ve kept the steps of each recipe simple so that they can be made without any special equipment but both recipes can easily be translated for use with a stand mixer.

Basic Bread
  • 16oz Bread Flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 290ml milk, cold

Bread21) Combine bread flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, slowly add the cold milk to the flour mixture until a dough starts to form. Add only enough milk to produce a dense but pliable dough. Dough should be slightly sticky to the touch but not come off on your hands.

2) Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Because dough is dense and cold, it will take some elbow grease and around ten minutes. Just keep at it until you see a noticeable change, testing it with the windowpane test until desired results.

3) Place dough in a very lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film or dish towel and allow to rise, in a draft-free area, for 2  to 2 1/2 hours.

4) Punch down dough and knead lightly to release air bubbles. Form loaf in desired shape and let rise on a lightly floured surface for second time, approximately 45 minutes.

5) Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and transfer loaves to sheet. Carefully but quickly, with a sharp knife, score desired pattern on dough.

6) For a crisper crust, as you preheat the oven, place cast iron or aluminum pan on bottom rack. When time to bake, slide sheet with dough onto middle rack, pour 3/4 cup water into cast iron or aluminum pan, & close oven door quickly. This will produce steam. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

7) When bread is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when bottom of loaf is tapped, remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Root Vegetable Bread
  • 115g parsnip, steamed or boiled
  • 55g carrot, steamed or boiled
  • 1oz milled flax
  • 6oz whole wheat flour
  • 9oz bread flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 230ml milk, cold

1) Slice carrots and parsnips into small sections & steam or boil until soft. Drain or remove from pot. To remove excess moisture from vegetables, add dry pot to burner and add vegetables to pot. Let sit on low heat until vegetables stop steaming. With potato masher or the back of a spoon, mash into a paste.

2) Combine milled flax, whole wheat flour, bread flour, salt, & yeast. Add mashed vegetables until well-mixed. Stirring Bread3constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, slowly add the cold milk to the flour mixture until a dough starts to form. Add only enough milk to produce a soft dough.

3) Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. If dough is particularly sticky, add bread flour as you knead, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough passes the windowpane test, approximately six minutes.

4) Place dough in a very lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film or dish towel and allow to rise, in a draft-free area, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

5) Punch down dough and knead lightly to release air bubbles. Form loaf in desired shape and let rise on a floured surface for second time, approximately 45 minutes.

6) Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and transfer loaves to sheet. Carefully but quickly, with a sharp knife, score desired pattern on dough.

7) For a crisper crust, as you preheat the oven, place cast iron or aluminum pan on bottom rack. When time to bake, slide sheet with dough onto middle rack, pour 3/4 cup water into cast iron or aluminum pan, & close oven door quickly. This will produce steam. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

8) When bread is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when bottom of loaf is tapped, remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.