Thursday, 4 July 2013

Bread (of heaven)

Have you noticed how much the price of a loaf of bread has increased lately?! Especially if, like most, it is one of those items you rely on the "corner shop" for midweek. A quick scan in mine shows you cannot buy a decent loaf for under £1.30. Sure, they have that value bread that is of questionable quality, very rubbery and all together quite "yuck" that I will admit we have resorted to on occasion. But we have worked out that it costs under 40p to make a high quality loaf with no hidden nasties, no additives/flavourings/preservatives. And it makes your house smell like a home. Convinced? Give it a go!

So what's the alternative? As always, the cheaper option is DIY. I was always put off making bread as I thought it was something you could only do with considerable skill and/or a bread maker. Happily not so. Below is my super easy bread recipe but Google throw up a million variations and I'm sure with a little practise they would all be lovely!

White Bread

500g strong white bread flour (extra for dusting)
7g sachet of yeast
2tsp salt
300ml hand hot water
3 dessert spoons olive/sunflower oil


Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl
Make a well in the centre of mix
Add oil and water in well
Mix thoroughly until a non sticky dough forms. (If sticky add a little more flour)
Knead well on floured surface for 10mins (very therapeutic actually!!)
When smooth pop back in bowl, cover with tea towel and leave in warm place for 1 hour-until dough doubles
Remove from bowl and 'knock back' by kneading for 1-2 mins
Shape dough into whatever shape you prefer (remember to cut a cross in top of loaf) or transfer to loaf tin (score a line down the centre of loaf)
Leave to rise for 1 hour in warm place
Preheat oven to 220c or GM 7 and put loaf in centre of oven for 25-30 mins
To check if cooked tap the base of loaf- if it sounds hollow it is cooked.

TIP- Add a roasting tray with a cup of cold water to base of oven to create a shinier more crusty crust.

TIP- Use oil instead of flour when kneading the dough- this will result in softer bread. I haven't tried this one!

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