If you have been reading runawaykiwi for a while, you will know of my ongoing battle to try and find a bread recipe. I didn’t think I was asking for much, bread is a staple and surely couldn’t be that hard to make.
However if you have ever tried to search for a simple bread recipe online you will know that is far from the case. There are more variations then there are stars in the sky.
Thanks to the DK ‘a little course in baking‘ book, I had somewhere to start.
Many many loaves later, I present to you the definitive bread recipe. You can make it with normal plain flour, but bread flour is best (and surprisingly cheaper than normal flour).
2tsp active yeast (the kind you have to reactivate in water)
200ml warm water
500g flour (white or brown, plain or strong bread)
1tbsp oil (I use olive oil)
Combine the sugar, yeast and water and set aside until it froths up (just a couple of minutes should do the trick). Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, if you don’t have a sieve you can get the same effect by whisking the flour for a bit.
Add the oil and yeast mixture to the flour and then get your hands dirty. I do all the kneading in the bowl itself (pressing it from one side to the other with my knuckles and then folding it back on itself), mostly so I can watch tv while I do it. There are lots of techniques on YouTube, but just make sure you keep going until it is smooth and has a bit of a shine. I would say around 5minutes is a good bet. Cover with a tea towel and put in a warm spot for about 45minutes or until it has doubled in size (how quickly this happens depends on how warm it is so just keep checking the first time you make it).
Now for the best bit of the entire adventure – punch that sucker in the middle of its bloated belly. Then kneed it again for a little less time then before. Pop it in the loaf tin or tray that you are going to cook it in/on. Cover and pop back in the warm place for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C (fan bake). Put the dough in and cook for ten minutes, turn the oven down to 180C and cook for another 20 minutes. You know it is done when you tap it and it sounds hollow.
Take out of the oven and out of the tin straight away (otherwise it will get all sweaty).
And there you have it…BREAD.
I have also tried a seeded version, exactly the same as above except you also add a tablespoon each of linseed, poppyseed, sunflower seed and a handful of crumbled up walnuts.
Life mission completed.