Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Making Bread part 1

I've been asked to post my bread recipe - well, it's a well known one. You can read about it here, and I read about it in this book, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The bread I like making takes a long time - that is, a long waiting time between one step and the next. But it takes hardly ANY time for you! It's even joined my roster of "foods I can make on those busy nights". Interested? Well, here's step 1, which I'm sure you can do today. Come back tomorrow and we'll enjoy step 2.

  1. Find the bread flour. Oh no, which one is bread flour? They both are! I like to have at least 5kg on hand all the time, so I've split it between two large containers. That's a Tupperware Rectangle 2, and a 3, the biggest arrangement that can fit in this cupboard!

Plain flour will do, if you can't get proper "bread" flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content, but Aussie plain flour does just fine.

2. Drop three cups of flour into a mixing bowl, and add this much salt. Or more, or less, but don't leave it out (it affects the texture as well as the taste).

3. Put in just a quarter of a teaspoon of dried yeast. That's a tiny amount - most recipes call for two whole teaspoons or more. I keep a measuring spoon in the canister for convenience.

Give the dry stuff a little stir. It's more efficient that sifting, you know.

4. Now pour in just over a cup and a half of water, just on the warm side. If it's freezing cold in your kitchen, you can add some boiling water from the kettle to some stone cold from the tap - then you won't be wasting a whole lot waiting for the tap to run warm!

5. Now stir it up. Note, I didn't say "knead", or "pummel" or any other complicated word, just stir it. It will be kind of sloppy for a dough. That's OK. A little wetter or dryer here will still work fine.

Pop a lid on the bowl (a cloth would do, but a loose fitting lid is much better, you don't want it to dry out.) I'm using a Tupperware Ultrapro baking dish for this task, which is overkill, because it's a fancy dish. But it works great!

Final step - you should have a sticky, doughy spoon in your hand. Wash that right away, it will be vile to wash if you leave it til tomorrow.

All of this takes me about 3 minutes. Let's leave the bowl in a warm place (a warm place in Melbourne in winter! Hah!). I'm using the oven that has been turned off some time ago. DON'T do that with a melty plastic bowl.

See ya tomorrow for part 2, and we'll see what we have made.

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