Fresh bread is among 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 has even had time to cool down. Riding home in the vehicle from the bakery, or possibly a supermarket, with a warm, new loaf in a brown paper bag, you’ve to have iron will to obtain home with this loaf intact, especially with children in the vehicle with you too.
Baking bread in the home can be fun, if you’re not under pressure. It is really a task that children can help with, kneading alongside you. When you’re forming the loaves you are able to section off some dough to allow them to make their very own sculpturally shaped rolls, which they could decide to try school proudly inside their lunch boxes another day. Then you’re able to fill your house with the scent of baking bread, making it feel warm and welcoming on even probably the most dismal winter day.
Breadmaking machines, of the kind that you feed it the ingredients then it spits out a ready baked loaf several hours later certainly are a boon to people that have no time to bake for themselves – you get the pleasures of getting up to the aroma of bread wafting through the home, without the labour to make it brot selber backen. 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 are able to let your brain wander and feel the web link with all the current men and women who have gone about any of it daily task within 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 much 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 will need a large mixing bowl or you are able to 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 has 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 another, 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 together with your finger. Use it in the bowl again, cover with a plastic bag or clean cloth and leave in a warm place from draughts for an hour and a half, till it has doubled in size. If you’re in the depths of winter and no warm places are available, it’ll still rise, just taking longer. Pass by the doubling in dimensions rather than the amount of time it takes.
Knock the dough down – squashing most of the air out of it again – then shape it into two loaves, which can 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, again covering with a plastic bag or cloth, then bake at 200C/400F for 30 minutes. (If the kids make small rolls they’ll be achieved sooner, check after 15 minutes). The bread is completed when it sounds hollow as you knock on the bottom of the loaf.
The great thing about bread is that it’ll be edible even if you over-bake it, just crustier. My only failure with this recipe was the first time I made it. I made one huge loaf with this quantity and the centre was a little underdone, but even then we will eat the remainder of it.