Making Real Bread

April 1, 2011

 Last week I mentioned that I hoped to talk about Real Bread some more… and I was lucky enough that John (who made the bread for our supper) invited me to bake some bread with him…

John has been baking real bread for about a year, and has been on lots of courses. He highly recommends the Hobbs House courses, which is where he learnt a lots of his skills and got the recipes for the following breads.

He hopes to open his own bakery one day, and he has impressive plans… I just hope it’s near me because it is going to be amazing!

We made so much…

First we made a dough to make a seeded wholemeal loaf, which we then mixed in John’s amazing kitchen aid (I want one!)

Which is baked in a traditional basket to give the bread its shape and look.

The lines are from the basket. We haven’t actually tried this bread yet, it has gone in the freezer I am determined not to waste a crumb of what we made and we couldn’t have possibly have eaten it all this week.

It’s going to be great toasted with some marmalade!

You can do this at home without a mixed or a special oven… try this recipe from Hobbs House here

Here is the finished product, and something else we made!

Then we made a loaf from scratch, called Cholla, a traditional Jewish bread I think this was my favourite. I have been eating slices of this all week all by itself and the loaf is disappearing fast.

It’s lovely stuff.

It was very easy with very few ingredients… water, flour, eggs, yeast and salt.

We mixed it all up and then smoothed our dough.

Look at this perfect, risen dough! I was so proud.

Then we divided into three and plaited our loaf.

This is the Boy’s perfect plait, mine did not go so well…

Then we glazed with egg and poppy seeds go into the seams and we baked…

The loaves go quite dark because of the egg wash but they are not burnt, they are delicious.

I had a piece of Cholla toast last night, with butter. Best. Toast. Ever.

You can buy this actual recipe from Hobbs House (details at the end of this post) but there are also lots online.

John also very kindly made some dough before we arrived so we could make pizza for our dinner… There is it in his beautiful cherry red kitchen aid;

There are some great pizza dough recipes out there, just have a search. I have been told that this one is foolproof; Everybody Likes Sandwiches

We divided this up and John went through different techniques to make several different types of bread.

This is a tiny ball of dough for my pita bread. With these we rolled them out quickly and till they were very thin…

Then we threw over our wrist and took it to the oven to bake for a couple of minutes.

These are great fun to make, so easy and you can watch them puff up in the oven.

I cannot tell you how much better these are than any other pita I have even eaten.

I want to make a big batch and keep them in the freezer for ready-made snacking.

The same dough also made our pizza bases and a loaf of focaccia… that’s the dough resting in olive oil.

This is John and the Boy making the dough into bases the Italian way…

Another easy make! Again you can freeze these as bases, cook for a few minutes and then keep for when you need them. You can then have fresh pizza anytime you like!

I had to make my peaches pizza again, I love it.

The focaccia was pushed into a square baking tray that had about 1/2 inch of olive oil in (loads basically!) and was then covered in rosemary and baked.

A thing of beauty.

I can tell you at this point we had eaten a lot of pizza and pita and were stuffed but we found room for this baby…

We took all of these goodies home, I now have a beautiful seeded loaf and 2 pitas in my freezer, I did have a focaccia but that is all gone!

My sandwiches this week have been amazing…

… and a Cholla which is disappearing way too fast for my liking.

You can find details of the Hobbs House courses here and everything you need to bake bread at home here plus recipes on Tom Herbert’s blog here.

Read my blog about Real Bread here with information on some local bakeries that are making proper bread.

Do let me know if you try making some bread, your successes, I have yet to try on my own and home but really want to soon, and since I need some more Cholla I have no excuse.

Massive thanks to John for sharing his skills and sending me home with a ton of bread!

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8 Responses to “Making Real Bread”

  1. Grazing Kate Says:

    Lovely – like the look of the cholla – never tasted that. I love making bread – I have a breadmaker and use that every day, on days with more time I make my own pizza dough, pitta dough and loaves – they are just the best. I can highly recommend the River Cottage ‘Bread’ book – very inspiring with some wonderful pictures and tips. There’s the basic guide, then all the advanced bits and bobs to incorporate when you’re expert!
    Sounds like a fun course.

    • Sally Says:

      There are so many great rbead books, I am finding it hard to choose! I love the photographs but might have to go with Hobbs house recipes!

      The Cgoola was YUM defo try it!

      • John Says:

        Richard Bertinet’s books are great- ‘Dough’ to get started, and ‘Crust’ for more advanced real bread (like Sourdough)


  2. Challah is delicious. It makes the best french toast, actually! Give it a try. :)


  3. […] a bit vague and don’t tell you how the dough should look or how to knead but I remembered my bread making lesson with John and what we had done […]


  4. […] To start I made mackerel pate and served with some bread I made at my bread making lesson. […]


  5. […] Phew! It was a really good night, I had fun and learn lots… a great date! See my full post about all the bread here. […]


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