I used to be an instant gratification baker. I liked that in most cases, when I start baking, I’ll have something edible within about an hour. This is essentially because I don’t plan ahead, and will bake because of a particular hankering for something. Having to give dough time to rest and rise is just infuriating when I want something deliciously carby right this moment. But, I love bread, so I go through phases of bread-making in a determined effort to become less terrible at it, by teaching myself to wait the full designated time for the dough to do its thing.
In my bread-baking explorations, I’ve tried standard recipes, the tang zhong method, Artisan Bread in 5, no-knead… all with varying levels of success. I may write about my other attempts later, but this week’s experiments were using recipes from the Thermomix Every Day Cookbook (EDC) in a square pan. Because square bread is cool *straightens bow-tie*.
Every man and their dog is into rustic and artisan bread at the moment. All those pretty hard-crusted boules with slashes cut into the top that look like they came out of a quaint French boulangerie. It’s a Thing(TM).
But there’s something novel about being able to make your own rectangular loaf. It’s square, it’s efficient, but it wasn’t mass-produced, and didn’t come out of a commercial bakery. It also results in a slice of bread that fits neatly into your toaster. Something that fancy boules don’t often do, and you end up with a little bit sticking out the top that stays untoasted. This is not optimal.
So, square bread. It’s made with a rectangular pan with a lid on top so you are effectively bonzai-ing it into shape during the rise and bake. Provided your pan fits your volume of dough.
I picked up my loaf pan from Rising in the Yeast in Myaree. If you want bread baking related gear, this place is where you’ll find it. Couldn’t tell you what size it is, but if you tell them what you’re after, they’ll point you in the right direction. This one makes sandwich sized bread and fits a standard loaf recipe, but there are larger sizes as well.
This first loaf was a brioche loaf from the Thermomix EDC. It was pretty tasty the first day or two, but I think I did something wrong, or need to tweak the recipe a bit, because it’s a bit more dense than anticipated, and it dried out pretty quickly. Still working on it.
One day I’ll figure out this brioche thing and then watch out scales, brioche French toast here I come!
The second attempt was using another Thermomix EDC recipe for Five Seed Bread. I didn’t have all the seeds listed, so I just threw in what I had, which was rolled oats, flax-seed, quinoa flakes, chia seeds and Pura Veda.
If you try this recipe out, note that the dough is loose and sticky, and looks more like a thick cake batter, so you will need to scrape it into a greased pan. But it rises very well. So well that it actually escaped my pan with the lid on. I wish I had a photo of this, the dough was just oozing out like lava.
After scraping it back into the pan, it baked beautifully and created a lovely moist loaf with soft slices, and is resilient enough to keep the same texture after two days bagged in the fridge.
Had I allowed it to rise without the lid on, it probably would have produced a more nicely rounded-top loaf, but aesthetics aside, it’s a really delicious bread, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t normally like wholemeal or seeded loaves.
I won’t link the brioche recipe because I didn’t like how it turned out, and you can certainly find better brioche recipes out there. But the Five Seed Bread is linked above. If you don’t have all the listed seeds, just substitute in whatever you have on hand to the same weight. I can tell you from experience that it works fine. If you don’t have a Thermomix, just use a regular mixer with a batter blade. I haven’t tried it, but a dough hook may not work as well with such a loose dough.
 A recipe that uses about 500g flour for a loaf. However, keep reading.
 I bought this to mix into stuff like raw bars and things for snacking. In looking for a link for the product, I only just now learned that it’s a cereal alternative. This never occurred to me. But I guess it makes sense now that I think about it a bit more. Anyway…
 I don’t keep my bread out. It goes mouldy. The fridge dries it out, but it’s fine after toasting.