It seems my Father-in-Law had mistakenly used self-raising flour rather than bread flour and this gave the good results. Interesting...
So I set about experimenting with baking powder in the bread dough. I didn't have granary flour, in fact I've not bought this for a long time, so instead I decided to make a rye bread, following Richard Bertinet's recipe, but doubling everything. And I spotted the walnut bread variant and decided to do that.
20 g fresh yeast
700 g water at room temperature
800 g strong white flour
200 g stoneground rye flour
1 tsp vitamin C powder
2 tbsp baking powder
20 g salt
400 g walnuts
- Stir the yeast into the water so that it dissolves completely.
- Mix together the flours, vitamin C powder and baking powder
- Add the water and mix to a sticky dough. Knead for a few minutes, then add the salt and incorporate
- Roughly crush the walnuts in a pestle and mortar, so that some of the oil is released, then knead into the dough.
- Let rise for an hour, then make into the desired shapes and leave to proof for a further hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220 °C and bake the breads for 45 - 50 minutes. Cover with a piece of aluminium foil if the breads begin to brown too much before they are ready.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool down on a wire rack.
This time I decided to make just one loaf and use the remainder to make a tear and share bread, since we do eat a lot of soups and I quite fancy such bread with them.
As it often happens, I do a lot of other things while dough and bread is proving and so my breads over-proved a little, however they baked nicely and the whole house smelt of roasted walnuts.
The crumb looked nice and airy, still the bread felt a bit heavy and the tear and share buns felt almost under-baked. I think this is because of all the walnuts I added - 400 g is way beyond what I'd normally put into a dough, which is about a handful or two. It was quite tasty, though I need to focus on my experimentation with the baking powder to achieve a fluffier texture. If this is at all the right way to go. After speaking with Lundulph's Mum, it turns out the granary bread we had for New Year's dinner wasn't the one with the self-raising flour, but a regularly made loaf. Besides, baking powder is a bit salty and I didn't account for this, so chances are I killed some of the yeast because of this.