Monday, 4 March 2013

lizi's granola and lincolnshire honey bread



... or the delicious meeting of two counties in one country loaf... Lizi's granola is an incredible organic toasted muesli that Lizi herself developed whilst making breakfasts for guests staying at her Oxfordshire B&B... it was so popular she decided to bag it and sell it and a few years of magic entrepreneurial spirit later her company Lizi's granola was born and it's gone from strength to strength, now with 5 different flavours including Treacle and Pecan and the delightful sounding Pink Apple and Cinnamon. As always it was my mother who stumbled across the granola first... she loves the stuff and has been talking about Lizi's for ages but it always takes me a while to come round to these things... so when the good people from Lizi's sent me a packet to review not only did I ask them to send a packet to my mum (well, come on, there has to be some perks to the job...) but I also got to taste the stuff that mum loves so much...

... we're not huge cereal eaters here in Belleau Cottage so it has to be something exceptional that persuades us off the scrambled egg on toast so I think the fact that The Viking and I have been munching on the stuff all weekend is probably a good sign of it's success... as well as tasting delicious it also has an incredibly rich aroma which I guess comes from the toasting of the oats along with a dark caramel quality that must come from the black treacle... although saying that it's also not too sweet and has that apple juice hit that has it's own natural sweetness... in essence I really like it and knew instantly that it would not only make great eating straight from the bowl but would also be a brilliant ingredient for things like crumble topping and of course bread...


lizi's granola and lincolnshire honey bread
i've been playing around a little with my low-knead bread making, adding half milk, half water and changing the point during the process where I add any added ingredients... I also constantly play with the temperature of the oven, ramping it up to begin with for 10 minutes and then turning it down for the remaining time... it's hit and miss, as it always seems to be with bread but this time it came out beautifully and has been eaten both as a sweet tea bread but also toasted and buttered with cheese, which was very satisfying...

400g strong white bread flour
150ml skimmed milk
150ml hand warm water
1 teaspoon fast action dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil such as sunflower
2 teaspoons lincolnshire honey plus a little extra to brush on top
2 tablespoons granola plus a little extra for the topping

place the flour, water, yeast and salt in a bowl and using a rubber spatula bring it together until you have a shaggy, sticky ball and all the flour is used, cover with a tea-towel and leave for 10 minutes in a warm place

after 10 minutes drizzle a little oil onto your work surface, spread it around with your hand and with the same oily hand pull the dough out of the bowl and slap it onto the work surface.  Pour a little oil into the bowl and wipe your hand around the bowl to ensure the inside is covered with oil.

knead the bread for a count of eight turns, pushing down with the heal of your hand, then folding and turning a quarter turn. Place back in the bowl and cover for a further 10 minutes.  Repeat this once more.

after the second 10 minutes, repeat the process again but this time add the honey and the granola to the dough before you knead, then place the dough back into the bowl and let it rise, covered with a tea-towel for at least an hour or until double in size

prepare a baking sheet with baking parchment, then once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and with oiled hands shape it into a ball and place it onto the baking sheet, then let it rise, un-covered for another 30 minutes.  At this point put your oven on to 200C to pre-heat.

Bake the bread on 200C for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 170C for a further 20 - 35 minutes or until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when you tap its bottom.

place on a wire rack and immediately brush it with honey and sprinkle with a handful of granola

eat and of course, enjoy!

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