Berry Bread & The Snow

The beast finally gave us snow, much to the delight of the children. Where we live it never snows, I mean almost never, maybe once every ten years. We were watching everyone’s threads on Facebook and saw lovely snow pictures close by, so other half and the children set off in search of some cold stuff. And they found a whole lot of snow not less than three miles from our home!

Snow at Conlig, Northern Ireland


It was also a great day for baking, having the oven on for a while in this cold weather makes the house toasty warm. I am one for inventing variations of tried and tested bread recipes. We all love basic white, home baked, bread in this house, but I personally like to spice it up. The children aren’t keen on what they call brown bread, but I rather like it. So, as a compromise I try to make different things and throw in the occasional Wholemeal loaf. I took my basic white bread recipe and just did it different, I came up with what I call Berry Bread. The interior of the bread had a vague pinky colour if you held it to the light, it tasted delicious, sweet and fruity and the addition of the fruit muesli gave it a little crunch too.

Berry Bread

500g white bread flour.

1 sachet of yeast.

1.5 teaspoon sugar.

1.5 teaspoon salt.

2 tablespoons milk powder.

1.5 tablespoons butter.

300ml of warm, made up blackcurrant squash (also known as cordial or concentrate, any berry drink would do).

65g dried berries and cherries, they came in a little snacking bag.

1/2 cup of fruit muesli, in my case it has no nuts.

Put the flour, salt, yeast, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix them with your dough hook until the butter is distributed. If you are doing this by hand, rub the butter in.

Pour on the made up blackcurrant squash and use your dough hooks or knead by hand until the dough is almost smooth and elastic. My dough was pink!

Pour in the berries and muesli and finish off kneading the dough in a floured surface.

Once prepared leave the dough to rest in an oiled bowl and prove for 45minutes to an hour, when it should be almost doubled in size.

After the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out of it and shape it into a 2lb loaf pan.

Leave to rise till it’s a little over the top of the pan, test for baking readiness. The test is very simple, poke the dough gently with your finger and if the dough goes back to shape slowly then it’s ready. If it feels sticky and the hole closes quickly it’s not ready.

Bake for approximately 30minutes at 200C.

When your bread is almost ready brush some melted butter on the top of your loaf, brush more on once you lift it out the oven to cool.

Cool on a wire rack before you cut into it.

I also played around with a doughnut recipe I had found, I didn’t get amazing results so I’m going to work on it before I share it. I found the dough too wet and the doughnuts didn’t rise enough. It’s a hard job as were forced to eat the evidence.

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