Maybe if I lived in a country where good quality bread is easy to find I wouldn’t make my own bread. We will never know, as I already got a bug. There is something addictive about bread making. Probably it is a smell of freshly baked bread, a tiny hiss you hear in a crust or just an sight of crust cracks that fascinate me from early childhood.
I’ve baked quite a few loaves, but I’m not a pro. I kill sourdough starters, the last one has survived probably only because Lou inspired me to keep on, but it is used only from time to time as I always forget to feed it on time. But that doesn’t matter, once you make enough loaves, you learn that in a way bread is very flexible and forgiving.
The idea of adding lavender seemed really romantic. I always wanted to be romantic, even though I’m sensible type most of the time. The bread is not soapy, there is barely a hint of lavender and honey, very pleasant combination.
Let’s be romantic, let’s add lavender to our breads more often :)
The recipe adapted from "Dough" by Richard Bertinet
- 300g wholemeal flour
- 200g strong white flour
- 1 heaped teaspoon dried lavender
- 2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 30g honey
- 350g water
In a large bowl place the flours and lavender. With your fingers rub in the yeast on one side and the salt on the opposite (yeast get killed in contact with salt).
Add the honey and water and stir it with a wooden spoon until everything combines nicely.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and let it rest for an 30 minutes until it rises a little.
Knead it until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). You can use a stand mixer as well. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and let it rest for an 1-1 1/2 hours or until it doubles in size.
You can also put it in the fridge and leave it overnight (the flavour will be even nicer), just remember to take it out around 2 hours before following the rest of the recipe, so the dough has time to warm up to room temperature.
After the dough has rested turn out the dough into a lightly floured surface and form it into the ball. Put into the floured basket or a bowl covered with floured tea towel. Leave it for an hour to rise or until it doubles in size.
At least 40 minutes before you plan to bake, place a cast iron pot and preheat the oven to 240°C.
Turn the temperature down to 210°C. Turn the dough onto lightly floured wooden board and score it with a serrated knife or razorblade. Slide it into the heated pot gently.
Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Then with the lid off for 10-15 more minutes or until golden.
The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool the baked bread on the cooling rack.