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As mentioned earlier, this recipe comes from Bakery Bits and can be found in the leaflet that they produced for use with the La Cloche baking dome. It uses 60/40 Strong White and Spelt flours. Fresh yeast is called for. Just for once I had none to hand, so I used Dove’s Farm active dried yeast.

The method is a semi autolysing one – but yeast is added at the outset, as are the linseeds. Only 3 minutes kneading is required.

At last an opportunity to wield the dough whisk! I think I mixed a little too far initially. I did add significantly more water than the recipe called for but the mix was very dry indeed without the additional liquid.

Kneading was a breeze – the dough was very well natured.

The loaf was not the brilliant success that Saturday’s loaf was. I think that although the oven was up to temperature, the dome itself could have done with longer to pre-heat. Absent-mindedly leaving Saturday’s loaf inside it when I placed the dome in the oven can not have helped. I did note however that this seems to be a very good way of reviving old bread…

More oven spring would have been nice but I am sure a Spelt and seeded loaf was never going to be quite as light and airy as a plain white one. The bread tastes good and that’s all that really matters. It went down well with the lunchtime soup which was, by the way, absolutely delicious. We both had second helpings. Recipe? Well, roughly as follows

Broccoli and Smoked Cheese Soup

Wash and break up a head of broccoli. Cut off the stalks and chop them into small pieces. Discard any really tough pieces.

Chop a medium onion fairly fine and sweat off in a little butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

When the onion  is under way and becoming translucent, add the finely chopped broccoli stalks. Stir, then put on the lid and leave to cook gently until onions and stalks are tender.

Stir in the broccoli florets, broken up as small as possible. Coat well  in the butter, then add stock to cover. (I used a vegetable bouillon powder today) Bring to the boil, turn down and leave to simmer until the broccoli florets are just cooked  – you are aiming to keep the colour but still render the veg malleable.

Blend with a stick blender, to your favoured consistency – lumpy or smooth is up to you.

Now grate in about 50g of Dorset Red smoked cheese. A little goes a long way, so don’t be tempted to overdo things. Add a little at a time, stir it in to melt it –  and taste before adding more.

Salt and further pepper are unlikely to be required, but add some if desired.

To bring the soup to life, add a little tartness with a tiny squirt of lemon juice. Not enough to taste of lemon – it’s the alchemical quality that is required.

If you are not watching your weight, a little creaminess is heavenly in this soup. Add double cream, mascarpone, crème frâiche or whatever dairy product floats your own particular soupy boat.

Today I left out the lemon but added around two tablespoons of Soured Cream to both enrich and sharpen the soup.

Bring back to temperature and serve without delay – don’t allow the cheese to go stringy.

Good with homemade croutons.

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