I ran out of bread yesterday, not good, so got up early and knocked out a loaf for breakfast!
Since buying a bread maker, and then learning to bake bread without it, it’s a very rare occasion indeed that I actually buy it from a shop nowadays. Home made bread tastes so much better and a big plus point is that you know exactly what has gone into it.
I like to make white bread with my sourdough culture, but sourdough can be temperamental, and this recipe is pretty much foolproof, delicious and very healthy.
I’ve attached the link to the original recipe, but this is my version and I’ve added pictures so that any new bakers can see what each stage of the process looks like.
1 dsp malt extract (available in health food shops, but black treacle and molasses also good)
13g dried yeast
350g granary flour
125g strong white flour
100g whole porridge oats
60-80g of small/crushed nuts and seeds of your choice (Waitrose Love Life mixed seeds are good if you don’t use seeds very often)
25ml olive oil
1. Mix the malt extract/treacle/molasses with 350ml warm water, yeast and a dsp of flour.
2. Stand in a warm place (the bowl, not you….) until the mixture froths up and looks something like this:
3. Mix together the flours, oats, seeds, nuts and salt in a new bowl.
4. Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture then pour in with the dry ingredients, combine well then turn out onto a clean counter and knead for a good ten minutes or so until smooth and springy. The original recipe says add more flour if the dough is wet, but your bread will be a lot lighter if you don’t.
If you don’t know how to knead, the purpose is to stretch the gluten strands, so don’t just thump it, make sure you give it a good workout! If you hold the dough with one hand and push the rest of it away with the heel of your hand, like so, that will do it.
5. Pop the dough back in the bowl and leave somewhere warm until double the size.
6. Scrape dough back onto the counter, pat it down, and then do a four corner fold, that is to say if you see it as a clock face, fold in at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Turn it over, shape into a rectangle, and scoop/chop the dough with your hands, till the top is smooth and all raggedy edges are tucked underneath. Pop into a well oiled 2lb loaf tin (or well floured proving basket) and leave in a warm place until double in size.
7. Heat oven to 200c/fan 180/c Gas Mark 6, then bake for 30 to 40 minutes until well risen and browned. You can glaze with beaten egg if you like but I don’t bother as it doesn’t make much difference. Take out of the tin and tap it on the base, if it sound hollow it’s ready.
8. Let it cool for 10 minutes then cut yourself a couple of slices, butter thickly and enjoy with home made jam, hummus, cheese and chutney or whatever else takes your fancy.
You can leave it for a few hours, then cut it into slices, freeze and then use when required, so that way, you never have to run out of bread again.
Yummy way to start the day!