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Last night, we finished the first loaf from the sack of Granary-type flour that I had delivered from Bacheldre Watermill on Saturday. (Malted Blend)

It was disappointing, but I believe that was my fault – when I took it from the oven I tapped its bottom and it sounded hollow but the crust was soft and my instincts said “five minutes more.” I debated this with Mr L and we agreed not to bother, so I ended up with bread that was somewhat doughy. We were rushing things a bit, for Sunday tea.

Frankly, the bread was edging towards the unpleasant whilst still warm. On Day 2, it was better cold, but still a bit claggy. Yesterday afternoon it was best as toast.

I am not blaming the flour but myself – I failed to check a recipe and threw the bread together in haste. That being so, I don’t plan to review the flour until I have made a loaf with more patience.

First impressions are that the flour has flavour and the soft crumb one would expect from a malted flour, but that it comes up short on interesting bits. This is odd, because when I used their Oak Smoked Malted Blend (which I bought locally), it was not only delicious and made perfect bread, but also came up to scratch on the ratio of interesting bits. The bread looked exactly as though made with real Granary flour, but tasted as smoked as a kipper. (It’s gorgeous stuff, highly recommended for rolls – fill them with a good Cheddar, maybe some raw onion.)

It was the crust that we missed mostly – that lovely dark and shiny, almost blackened chewy crust that is to us the hallmark of  a Granary type loaf. Maybe the extra 5 minutes would have taken care of that, but I am not confident about it.

I am divvying up the sack with the flour-purchasing circle this morning and I shall be interested to hear their views. My instincts tell me that none of us will be particularly interested in buying this particular flour again. I shall mix my own, because I can – I have a cupboard full of seeds and grains and malt products. The other ladies will no doubt wish to return to buying the genuine RH Granary product, which our local shop bags up from sacks.

I am hoping to make some more this afternoon, when I get home from Spinning Group. Full verdict after that has been baked and consumed. Snow and low temperatures may intervene!

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