Monday, September 27, 2010

Basic bread recipe

Jeeze, I haven't put on a recipe on here in forever! Time to remedy that I think!
The thing I cook most often in my house is bread. Every day when me and my daughter are eating breakfast, the Kitchen Aid is whirring away in the background, mixing up what will be everyone's lunch.
I started making my own bread back when I lived in England, and soon discovered that once you eat home made bread, you can't go back to the store bought variety. Not only does it taste so, so different, but its free of all those nasty things that manufacturers think we need to eat, bleh.  Plus the smell of it cooking in the oven is something akin to olfactory porn - it is second only to the smell of fresh coffee in the morning!
This recipe is the one I use most often (given to me my lovely friend Kathy) and takes a little while, but produces the most wonderful, light fluffy sandwich bread. One of these gets devoured by my family every day! Ready? Here goes!

You will need...
  • 1 lb of white bread flour (or up to a half and half mix of white and whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 - 3 cups of boiling water
Mix the warm water, sugar and yeast together in a jug and leave to one side. Meanwhile, boil some water.  When the top of the yeast water has become foamy, add to the flour on a mixer with a dough hook. Mix for about 3 minutes and leave to rest for 10. Mix again for 10 minutes and then place in a large oiled bowl.
Place the bowl on the top shelf of your oven. On the bottom shelf, place a large (I use a 9" x 7") heatproof dish and fill with the boiling water. Close the oven door and leave the dough to rise for a couple of hours, or until double in size. Try not to peek for at least an hour, or all the steam will escape! Also, don't turn the oven on until you take the dough out...
When the dough is double its original size, turn out onto a floured surface and punch it into a rectangle. Roll it up from its short side and punch out again (dough is great for getting out any anger!!!)
Roll up again from the short side and place in a lightly oiled 1lb bread tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave for a hour until risen again.
Preheat the oven to 400 F, and cook for about 25 minutes until the top is browned and your house is filled with heavenly aromas...
I usually leave the bread in the tin for around ten minutes, and then it tips out the tin really easily.
Leave to cool completely before slicing, but if you can't resist, smother with vegan margarine and dribble as it melts into the steaming bread and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy..!

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