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Flower Pot Loaf

ingredients

1 3/4 cup (200 g) strong white flour (bread flour)
1 3/4 cup (200 g) wholemeal flour or 3 1/2 cup (1 lb) 400 g brown flour
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 oz (15 g) lard
1/2 oz (15 g) fresh yeast or 2 tsp dried yeast
1/2 pint water

method

1. If you are using dried yeast, dissolve one teaspoon of sugar in the warm water then add the dried yeast. Leave until frothy, about 10 mins.

2. If you are using fresh yeast, blend it into the warm water.

3. Place the flours, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl and rub in the lard.

4. Add the yeast liquid to the dry ingredients and mix to a soft dough.

5. Turn the dough onto a work surface and knead the dough by folding towards you, then pushing down and away from you with the heel of your hand. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the action. Knead until smooth and no longer sticky.

6. Cut the dough in half and place in the prepared flower pots, which should be placed on a baking tray. Glaze with milk or salted water and sprinkle with cracked wheat.

7. Place the pots inside a large oiled polythene bag and leave in a warm place until the dough doubles its size, about 45 - 60 mins.

8. Remove the polythene bag and bake on the middle shelf of a hot oven 230°C (450°F) or gas mark 8 for 30 - 40 mins or until the bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.

9. Remove the bread from the flower pots and cool on a wire rack.

to prepare the flower pots


1. Grease two earthenware flower pots (10-13cm, 4-5 inches) with oil or lard. It is a good idea to grease the pots well and bake empty in a hot oven for 5 mins to prevent the loaves sticking.

2. If you have not got any flower pots you use one of three options (as below)

alternatives

1. Bake the dough in a greased 23 x 13 x 6cm (21 lb) loaf tin.

2. Shape the dough into a large ball and flatten slightly, place on a greased baking tray and using a sharp knife slash a cross on the top of the dough.

3. Make rolls by dividing the dough into 12 pieces, roll each into a ball and place well apart on a greased baking tray. Rolls will take less time to rise and bake than loaves.

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