Continuing my efforts to stick to my boyfriend’s new year’s resolution of having me bake more bread, I decided to try another Paul Hollywood recipe earlier in the week – barm cakes.
A northern staple, barm cakes are absolutely brilliant, especially for breakfast – I like them to form a crucial part of the good ol’ (veggie) sausage butty, while my boyfriend prefers them filled with a couple of fried eggs, cheese and hot pepper sauce.
Unfortunately, my baking experience with this particular bread was a little mixed. As you can see from the photo above, they’re not exactly perfectly round, and they’re not particularly risen, either. However, the good news is they looked, felt and tasted like barm cakes on the inside, so it’s not all bad!
Hollywood’s recipe starts off in the same way as most of his white bread recipes, and it all seemed to go swimmingly until the bit where the recipe diverges from the others in order to get the bread the right shape. I think I rolled out the dough balls a bit too flat, and then didn’t leave them to rise for long enough (although they had more than the time specified, and in a warm kitchen on a warm day).
I put them in the oven anyway hoping that they would rise more, which they did, but not as much as expected. However, once they were cooled, split open, filled and eaten they proved (ha!) to be absolutely delicious, with none of the raw texture or flavour you would expect from a dough that hasn’t quite risen enough.
It’s all a bit of a mystery to an amateur bread baker like myself, but at least my boyfriend could justify having more than one for breakfast thanks to the small size!
From How to Bake by Paul Hollywood. You can also find the recipe online here.