Herman the German Bread

Sally loves the idea of the Herman the German plant, so she’s been experimenting with recipes that showcase it.

I made a plain white loaf of bread that was risen only by one portion of the plant – it took all day but eventually it worked. This was the end result:

I also made a fruit bread loaf, though I did add a little dried yeast to that to give the dough a help along (the fruit makes the dough heavier and slower to rise).

Here are the recipes for both:

(For details about Herman the German – how to make a plant and how to feed and treat it see www.hermanthegermanfriendshipcake.com)

Herman the German Plain White Bread

 This bread is quite sweet, though not so much as a regular sweet dough. It’s a bit like a brioche.  Its texture is really good.

1 portion of Herman the German (that is the 10th day one quarter portion)

3 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1½ cups water

Mix all together very well in a large bowl and then cover with a teatowel and leave to rise until about doubled (this will take several hours).

Grease a loaf tin 13cm x 21cm approximately.

Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour and knead for a couple of minutes, then cut the dough into two equal pieces.  Shape each into a ball and then place side by side in the tin.

Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise almost to the top of the tin, then bake for 40 minutes.

Variation – you could make this dough into buns instead of a loaf of bread.  I think they’d be very nice baked with a little stewed apple or fresh berries inside.  It would also be a good dough for making cream buns.

Herman the German Fruit Bread

 For this recipe I added extra yeast.  You could just use the Herman plant, but it will take a very long time to rise.

4 cups plain flour

3 teaspoons dried yeast

2 teaspoons sugar, optional

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup raisins

1 cup sultanas

½ cup chopped dried apricots

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons mixed spice

1 portion of Herman the German (that is the 10th day one quarter portion)

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 cups warm water, approximately

Mix the dry ingredients together and then add the Herman portion, along with the oil and water to make a soft dough.  Cover the bowl woth a tea towel and leave until doubled in size (about 1 ½ hours).

Grease a loaf tin 13cm x 21cm (approximately) or two baking sheets (see below for reason).

Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour and knead for a couple of minutes, then cut the dough into two equal pieces.  Shape each into a ball and then place side by side in the tin.

Alternatively, place a ball on each of the two baking trays, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise until about one and a half times their original size.

For the loaf (i.e. the two balls in the loaf tin,  cover with a tea towel and allow to rise almost to the top of the tin, then bake for 40 minutes.