I am not a bread maker. I am a pastry maker (oh, wait until you try my pastry), I am a cake maker, I am an improvisator. But bread, no. It always goes wrong - the yeast doesn't fluff or the dough doesn't rise or the freezer destroys it completely. (Yes, who is foolish enough to put amateur dough in the freezer?)
But I have a machine. Such a clever, trusty machine: I weigh, it kneads, warms, and bakes to perfection. So now I can have the baking-bread smell without so much as a minute of hard work. I do love domestic rewards, and all the more when I've hardly lifted a finger.
This is my recipe for wholewheat walnut bread. I don't do anything special except throw everything at the clever machine, and push a couple of buttons. It's extremely delicious with soup. And isn't this just the weather for it?
WHOLEWHEAT WALNUT BREAD
1.5tsp instant yeast (I use Hovis)
1.5 cups strong white flour (Dove's organic)
1.5 cups wholewheat bread flour (actually you can use any interesting brown flour here, including soft grain and other country rye-type blends. The proportions mean that the white lightens the load.)
3tbsp walnut oil
2tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 cup warm water
... and that's kind of it. Throw everything in the machine (in this order), select the wholewheat option (not rapid, please) and wait for the scent of bakeries to tell you it's ready.