The Bake Off Bake Along 2016 – Bread Week

Week three last year was a busy one, and I ended up baking a soda bread one evening at home. This year is slightly different, in the fact that I’m actually off work this week. Saving as much holiday as possible for when we could move into the new house meant we haven’t actually had a whole week off yet this year. However, buying and selling houses seems to be just as complicated as everyone always warns. At this rate, we aren’t going to be in before next year! 



Hoping for an Indian summer, and very much needing a break from work, we have taken a week off. Starting and ending the week in Cornwall, I’ve got more time at home in between to bake and enjoy bread week. 

It was Adams original idea to make a tree. I wanted to do the showstopper, remembering the incredible lion from last year, and loving Kate’s corn dolly and Matthews basket. Needing to make a plaited centrepiece I wanted to incorporate three different flavours of bread, challenging myself in an area I genuinely don’t know that much about. 

Baking cakes, all the time. 

Making biscuits, for as long as I can remember. 

However, I could probably count the loaves of bread I’ve made on one hand.

I know, a serious confession. 



As for this weeks show, I love the idea of a chocolate nutty bread, but it made me nervous that pretty much every baker on this weeks episode had undercooked bread. Dampfnudel look pretty interesting, but I just don’t like eating bread pudding. Here’s another confession….

…I don’t like any form of soggy bread. 

Yep, even bread and butter pudding. 





So that left a plaited bread sculpture centrepiece and what better sculpture than a huge tasty tree. I used this base recipe from Paul himself, and added in a garlic and rosemary corn field, sundried tomato and chilli trunk, and goats cheese, red onion and pesto “leaves”.

The actual bake took so much longer than I expected it to. Bread recipes themselves are simple, but the first prove takes an hour, the second at least 40 minutes. I literally ended up making thin dough sausages for plaiting my corn for about half an hour! 




It was incredibly satisfying that my dough far more than doubled in size and baked really well. Crispy on the outside, soft and springy inside. Having somehow missed out on lunch, I had quickly devoured a couple of leafy dough balls when the came out the oven! 

I also realised all over again how much I love kneading bread, it’s such a satisfying task. 

Every time I make bread, I suddenly remember how delicious it is homemade. How you can literally gobble down every last slice with lashing of butter and salt, hot from the oven. How Enid Blyton does that sound huh? 

This bake was a faff, it took hours from start to finish. I also still think it could look neater and more intricate. However, the combination of three flavours work wonderfully together and it really was delicious.

So tasty.




Cheesy leaves from goats cheese with the pesto and onion, rich tomato with a hint of heat from the chilli and the classic flavour combo from garlicy rosemary deliciousness.



All I’ve got to do now is make loads of stews and hot pots and soup to dunk it in over the next few days because Adam’s cutting back on wheat and that truly is a huge amount of bread for one girl to consume on her own!!