Bread. It is a wonderful creation. Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread, topped with something delicious like cheese. Well, maybe freshly cut grass is nicer but since I read that the smell is actually plants in distress I feel guilty for enjoying that! Bread is one of those foods that is so versatile, you can literally pair it with anything! It doesn’t overpower dishes, and it can also function as a stand alone meal. Who has the time, or can be bothered to make their own bread… it takes all day doesn’t it?
Well… not exactly. This bread recipe takes around two hours – only ten minutes of which are you actually making, the rest is either resting or baking time. The result is a healthy and delicious loaf of bread, at only 114 calories per (thick) slice, and only 1 tsp of salt in the whole loaf. Which, trust me, is a smidgen of the salt content in loaves that you buy in the supermarket (some even have more salt per slice than a bag of crisps). I’m not preaching because I like to buy my bread from the shop, simply for the convenience factor. However, when I have the time I like to whip up a loaf.
500g bread flour (or plain flour)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
7g dried yeast (a sachet)
320ml warm water (not boiling)
1. Sift flour into a bowl and rub in the butter using fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the sugar, salt and yeast. Gradually add the water until the mixture comes together in a dough. This is easier if you use a plastic spoon – you can use your hands but you end up with dough gloves 9i.e more dough on your hands than in the bowl.
3. Empty the dough onto a floured surface. If the dough is slightly sticky you can add a bit more flour. The dough should be soft, not sticky – but also not too dry.
4. You now need to knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. You need to stretch, pull back and then knead the dough using your palms and knuckles to really get the yeast working and the dough full of lightness.
5. Place the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover lightly with oiled clingfilm. Leave this in a warm place for about an hour to rise.
6. After an hour, take the dough out and repeat the kneading process, then return back to the warm resting place for a further half an hour.
7. After resting, place the dough into a loaf tin (we used a pan because we don’t have a loaf tin). Don’t forget to oil the tin beforehand otherwise the load will stick when you try get it out later! Bake in the oven at 200 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes (or about 20 degrees less if you have a fan oven).
8. When the bread is cooled, slice and serve! Don’t forget to run around your house sniffing in the amazing smell!
Will you have a go at making your own bread?