Archive | December, 2012

You Can’t Hurry Bread

2 Dec

BR buttered

You can’t hurry bread,

No, you just have to wait

She said bread don’t come easy

It’s a game of knead and wait.

Well let’s be fair, bread and love are remarkably similar.  When done properly they both fill you with warmth and make all that is bad disappear and like all good things they take time to get right.  In as much as my twenty-five year old self would have loved to tell  my fifteen year old self to be patient and that love would happen, my thirty-five year old self would love to travel back to my twenty-five year old self standing over a loaf that only a dwarf would be happy to eat and tell her that it would all be okay.  One day.

You see bread has always been a bit of a problem for me.  I never quite got the hang of the kneading, proving, rising, waiting quasi-religious steps that other people took for granted.  My bread has always been a heavy let down.  There was even the time I tried to make a sour dough starter from scratch.  It looked good, had the right texture, but it was sour .  No, seriously, so sour it got spat out and we couldn’t eat it.  I’ve heard every joke about my bread breaking plates and being used as doorstops and yet, while I could manage some really tricky culinary tasks, bread has managed to elude me.  Then about two months ago I had a revelation.  I was eating a calzone and the corner was light and fluffy and soft and EVERYTHING bread should be.  So I took the  pizza dough recipe I had used for the calzone and tried to make bread with it.

It worked.

I tried again and it worked again.

I tried it the third time and wouldn’t you know it, it worked again.

I now have my very own bread recipe steps that I’m sticking to with all the fervour and zeal of the newly converted.  And as is the want of the newly converted, I’m sharing it with you.

BR IngI’m always amazed at how few ingredients bread needs; take:

  • 500 gm of bread flour
  • 2 tps of quick yeast
  • 1 Tbs of sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • a grind of salt to taste
  • 200mls of lukewarm water and
  • oil for kneading

Add all the dry ingredients into your food processor and process for five  seconds until completely combined. With the food processor running slowly add the eggs and then the water.  Process for about a minute until you have a thoroughly combined, wettish dough.

BR doughPlace the dough on the surface you’re going to use to knead.  Do NOT flour the surface, instead wipe it down with some oil of your choice, I like olive oil.

BR kneaded doughKnead the bread dough for ten minutes.  I set a timer to ensure I’m not lazy about it.  When you’re done kneading you should have a springy,smooth ball of dough. Place it in an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with cling film.  Leave in a warm place to rise for just over an hour or until doubled in size.

BR risen doughOnce the bread has doubled in size place it back on the kneading surface and knead for a further minute.  Shape the dough into the shape you want for your bread or place it in a loaf tin.  At this stage preheat your oven to 200°C.

BR dough in panCover the tin with the clingfilm and leave for about forty-five minutes to prove.

BR proved

Then place the bread in the oven and bake for forty minutes.  When you remove the bread from the oven and tap on its bottom, it should make a hollow sound to indicate it’s ready.

BR bakedRemove the bread from the load tin and allow the bread to cool slightly for about five minutes before you cut it.

BR cutSlice the bread and serve hot with lashings of butter.

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

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