Fresh bread is one of the simple joys of living: the appetising smell of it baking, then with the loaf fresh out from the oven, the temptation of tearing a chunk off the loaf before it’s even had time and energy to cool down. Riding home in the automobile from the bakery, or perhaps a supermarket, with a hot, new loaf in a brown paper bag, you have to have an iron will to have home with this loaf intact, especially with children in the automobile with you too.
Baking bread at home may be fun, if you are not under pressure. It is a task that children can help with, kneading alongside you. When you’re forming the loaves you can section off some dough for them to make their particular sculpturally shaped rolls, which they can take to school proudly inside their lunch boxes the following day. Then you get to fill your house with the scent of baking bread, which makes it feel warm and welcoming on even the absolute most dismal winter day.
Breadmaking machines, of the sort that you feed it the ingredients then it spits out a ready baked loaf a few hours later are a boon to people that have no time and energy to bake for themselves – you obtain the pleasures of getting out of bed to the aroma of bread wafting through the home, without the labour to make it. When you yourself have time though, making bread is not hard. It could be a relaxing, meditative experience. As your hands rhythmically knead the dough, you can let the mind wander and feel the hyperlink with all the current men and women who’ve gone about this daily task on the centuries.
When you yourself have never tried making bread before, try this simple recipe for an ordinary white loaf first. Nothing fancy, just plain, delicious white bread with a lot more chew and texture than shop bread could ever have.
White Bread Recipe
1kg/2.2lbs white bread flour
15g/4 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon salt
about 700ml/ not quite 3 cups water
You’ll need a large mixing bowl or you can heap the flour onto a clean surface and produce a well for the water. I use a bowl and mix the flour and salt, produce a well for the yeast, then pour the water in, gradually stirring with a knife. Once it’s come together into dough, tip it out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, sprinkling on more flour as you go, when it gets too sticky.
Knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it away with the heel of one other, fold it back on itself and repeat. It begins off sticky and lumpy and gradually become smooth. After 10 minutes it should feel springy and rise up again in the event that you dent it with your finger. Low Carb Put it in the bowl again, cover with a plastic bag or clean cloth and leave in a hot place away from draughts for an hour or so and a half, till it’s doubled in size. If you’re in the depths of winter and no warm places can be found, it’ll still rise, just taking longer. Go by the doubling in size rather than the amount of time it takes.
Knock the dough down – squashing all the air out of it again – then shape it into two loaves, which may be round, long, plaited or sculptural! Put the loaves onto a floured or lightly oiled baking tray. Leave to go up again for 3/4 of an hour or so, again covering with a plastic bag or cloth, then bake at 200C/400F for 30 minutes. (If the youngsters make small rolls they’ll be performed sooner, check after 15 minutes). The bread is completed when it sounds hollow as you knock on the bottom of the loaf.
The best thing about bread is that it’ll be edible even though you over-bake it, just crustier. My only failure with this particular recipe was the very first time I made it. I made one huge loaf with this particular quantity and the centre was a little underdone, but even then we’re able to eat the remainder of it.Read More