Monday, October 17, 2011

Love life loaf and be happy

Waitrose's new range of "love life" products seems a bit confused. Alongside the wholegrains and pulses, there's a selection of ready meals. One product that caught my eye was this: a wholemeal flour with 11.5% mixed seeds (millet, poppy, linseed) and some other grains. Protein is high, at 16.3%, but a lot of that is down to the seeds.

It's attractive packaging, I think, combining a homespun simplicity with sophisticated colours. So I bought some. What kind of bread does it make?

My first attempt was disastrous. I didn't take any photos and wouldn't publish them if I had. I made a basic dough, using fast action yeast and about 65% hydration, but left in the fridge overnight, which probably isn't a good idea.  The dough never really came to life and when I baked it, in a cudgel shape, it rose very unevely with a big cavity in the middle. I also underbaked it. I think I'm just not used enough to wholemeal baking.

So I tried again, substituting strong white flour for about a fifth of the flour, again using fast action yeast but with normal rising times. Here's the result. Believe me, it's a lot better, but I can't get excited about the taste. I guess it's the seeds: linseed still doesn't do it for me, and the poppy seeds aren't making a big impact. Maybe I've just got so used to the flavour that a long slow rising with old-fashioned dried yeast gives.

Waitrose do a couple of similar seedy flours, and I might try one of them, but I think it will be better to carry on adding seeds etc to my own specification.

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