The warm yeasty smell, the soft fluffy touch, the chewy satisfying taste, the golden yellow sheen – it can only be Bread!! I love bread. I love it so much that I want to sleep on a pillow of freshly baked bread… Sweet dreams for sure. Of course no one really bothers to try to bake bread – not without a bread machine. It’s too cumbersome, when you can just run out to the bakery that’s been making it for generations and pretty much knows how to earn their dough from it! But everyone wants to ‘try’ to bake bread. This attempt was one to scale my personal Everest of the year. Yes, some climb mountains; I make mountains of a mole hill challenge! Anyway I was mighty impressed with the results. *Patting myself on the back*. Just thought I’ll gloat to you guys as well 🙂
Basic Bread Recipe
Prep time: 15 mins
Sitting time: 2+2 hrs
Baking time: 30 mins for loaves; 15 mins for buns/ rolls
Makes: 2 loaves or several fun shapes
What you need:
3 ½ cups Refined Flour/ Maida
100ml + 100ml Water
50 ml Milk
2 tsp Yeast (granules)
4 tbsp Sugar (Powdered/ Castor)
1 tsp Sugar (Granulated)
1 ½ tsp Salt
5 Tbsp Oil (refined sunflower/ neutral tasting oils)
What to do:
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water (100ml) with the granulated sugar and keep aside for ten minutes. If the mixture starts bubbling and yeast starts rising to the surface you know the yeast is activated.
Sieve the flour, add salt and sugar. Mix in the remaining water. Then add the yeast, milk and oil and knead to a soft and smooth dough. Use the base of your palm to knead the dough by pushing the dough away from you and then gathering it again. 10 mins of this labour of love should do it. Keep the dough covered with cling wrap for 2 hours. It should have doubled in size. Now unwrap and punch the dough down. Go on release all that pent up energy. We do this to remove all the trapped air.
If making a loaf of bread: Put it into a loaf tin and keep it covered with cling film. The dough will ferment and double in size in the next two hours.
If making buns/ rolls: Mould the dough into the desired shape. Place on a baking tray, loosely cover with cling film (to keep the moisture in). The dough will ferment and double in size in the next two hours.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 30 mins if making bread/ 15 mins for buns. Enjoy the smell of heaven!!
You can use an eggwash (beat an egg and use it to brush the surface of the bun before baking) to give the buns a nice glaze!