Sunday, 12 April 2020

My very first attempts at bread – not a total failure

Second attempt


I've now had 2 goes at making a simple white loaf of bread.  The second one turned out a lot better than the first.  I don't think I'll be a expert baker anytime soon!  I decided to give it a go in case we couldn’t safely buy bread in the current lockdown.  Of course now it is difficult to get flour or yeast.

Ingredients:

7g active dried yeast (1/4 ounce)
7g sugar
325 ml water (1.4 cups)
500g flour (4 cups)
7g salt
Oil for oiling bowl

First attempt

Method:

Mix yeast with 3 tablespoons of warm water.  Let it sit in a warm place until it foams up a bit – this took 30 minutes in my coolish kitchen

Put the flour, sugar and salt onto a clean bench and create a well or hole in the middle.

Gradually pour in the yeast and water mixing it in with the flour with your fingers and trying not to let any water escape out the sides.

Then knead the dough with the heel of your hand moving the ball of dough around a bit each time.    I only did this for about 10 minutes the first time.  The second time I did 20 minutes (and had tired hands).  But the texture of the bread was much better.

Oil a big bowl and pop your dough ball in there, turning it over once.  Let it sit in a warm place covered with a cloth for up to an hour.  It should get a lot bigger.  How long this takes will depend on your ambient heat.  You could try putting it into your hot water cupboard.

Heat your oven up to 220c.  (430F)

Tip the dough out onto your bench – dusted with a little flour.  Knock back the dough – this means slapping it quite hard to knock the air bubbles out of it.  I didn't do this properly the first time.

Shape your dough and put it onto your baking sheet.  Slash the top with a knife a couple of times.  Dust with flour.  Now leave it sit again for 15 minutes – I didn't do this the first time.

Put it in the oven and let it cook for 10 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 190C (375F) and give it another 10 minutes.

Sit it on a rack to cool – and resist the temptation to try it until it has cooled!

8 comments:

  1. Looks like you are getting the hang of it! I have been baking bread for years and have done it completely by hand and also in my bread maker. Now I mostly use the bread maker to knead and mix the dough and then put the dough in a regular bread pan and bake in the oven. I have never been a perfectionist when it comes to bread. Even when it doesn't look great, it usually tastes wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Great progress! I've also been baking bread for years and still get failures from time to time - but I agree with the comment above, it always tastes good. Hope you enjoyed it!

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  3. I haven't tried traditional bread recipes yet, but we do enjoy making the no knead bread!

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  4. I admire you for trying. You are doing great!

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  5. Nice job! You ought to have seen my first loaves, as long as it’s edible that’s what counts.

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  6. Good job! Bread can be tricky, but as others have said, homemade bread always tastes good (and smells so good while it's baking)!

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  7. Looks like you're a fast learner! I love baking bread -- but, yes, flour and yeast are scarce.

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  8. Nice job! I've been trying to learn sourdough this past month. It will take some time, but I'm making progress.

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