Friday, 30 November 2012

Easy Delicious Home Made Bread.

Since I finished my Degree I have started to really cook again. One of my favourites is homemade bread. Its easier than you might think and you don't need any posh bread making machines. In fact - I think this recipe is much nicer than bread made in a machine!

You will need:

500ml warm water
2 and half tablespoons dried yeast.
2 and half tablespoons sugar
1kg strong flour
1 tablespoon salt
another tablespoon salt
cold water (enough to make a wash with the dissolved 2nd tbsp of salt)

This is not a labour intensive recipe. I reckon, from start to finish it takes 2 hours max to make, but of that 2 hours you are only really doing stuff for about 10 minutes. The rest of the time you can:

  • do other things
  • watch tv
  • have a bath
  • read a book
  • have a coffee
So ... here's what you do:

Put your yeast & sugar together in a large jug & pour on the warm water. Give it a little stir then leave until it looks a bit like this ...

please forgive my photo!!
Put your flour and salt together in a large bowl. If you have a mixer with a dough hook then you're made! Turn the mixer on a low low setting so you don't ruin the motor then let the flour and water mixture get together. Once its together in a dough set a timer for 4 minutes and leave the mixer to do its thing and turn it into a lovely smooth dough.

Or, if you don't have a mixer ... don't worry! Mix the dough in the bowl until it starts to come together, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead. I have always used this method until recently and its fine as well as excellent for cardio vascular fitness!! Knead for about 10 minutes.

Next ... put your dough back into the large bowl and leave it to prove in a warm place. (Just the kitchen side will do). Cover it with a clean tea towel and after about an hour, maybe less,  it will have doubled in size.

This is the moment you turn on your oven ... to 240 degrees centigrade. (I know its hot, but it works!)

Now ... punch it a few times to knock out the air. Tip it out of the bowl and shape into either one pretty huge loaf or two smaller ones. Any shape will do, but I like ovally ones as they're easier to cut.If you have a baking stone then bung them on this, or on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Score with a knife then cover again with the tea towel and leave to double in size again ( about half an hour ...)

Meanwhile make a half mug of wash ( water & 1 tbsp of salt or to taste)

When the dough has proved brush the salt water over it and place in the oven for 10 minutes.This makes a yummy crust and doesn't actually taste salty.

After 10 minutes open the oven to let out some of the heat ( and to gaze upon your beautiful loaves ...) and LOWER THE HEAT to 180 degrees centigrade. Set the timer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes the bread should be gorgeously golden, even more risen and generally fabulous. Cool on a wire tray and eat as soon as its cool enough. I tend to freeze one and use one.

This is the nicest recipe I've found and I have to give credit to Paul Merrett from Economy Gastronomy whose recipe this is with a couple of tiny tweaks. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


White Space said...

They look lush! I do in fact have a bread maker dontcha know (makes jam & everything!) but these do look really good...

sarah at secret housewife said...

ooooh get you with your bread maker!!! I didn't know they could make jam ... theres clever for you!! Have just eaten some of m'bread with butter and raspberry jam. yummeeeeee! xxx