Oh no I hear you cry – a bread recipe!
‘I can’t make bread’ is the standard response I hear when I suggest that someone try to make a loaf from scratch. It’s also what I thought myself just a few years ago…but guess what? I can…and so can you!
Simple Rustic Wholemeal Bread Recipe (photo to be added later)
You will need:
1 x Large Bowl
1 x Baking tray – lightly greased and lined or alternatively try ‘Wiltons Cake Release’ (amazing stuff!)
475g of Very Strong Wholemeal Flour plus a little more on the side for kneading later
15g of Softened Butter
7.5g (normally one packet) of Fast Action Yeast
1.5 x Teaspoons of Salt
1 x Teaspoon of Sugar
300ml (approx 1/2 Pint) of warm milk
What you will not need:
(Why clutter the kitchen when you can get fantastic results kneading yourself? Think of the workout you are giving those triceps!)
1. Add flour and salt to a large bowl, then stir in yeast and sugar
2. Rub in butter
3. Warm 300ml of milk until 2/3rds boiling temperature – hmm sounds complicated? Not at all – Just heat in microwave for 80 seconds, or if you don’t have a microwave just use 200ml of cold milk and top up with 100ml of boling water from kettle and stir.
4. Now for the fun bit – start adding milk (up to 300ml), probably half initially and start mixing together with your hands so a dough ball starts to form. Continue to add milk until the dough feels soft but doesn’t stick to your fingers. If you do slip and add too much don’t worry sprinkle some extra flour on until the consistency feels right. It should be springy not sticky to touch.
5. Keep the dough in the bowl (I use a lightweight large bowl so that I can easily pick it up and place under my arm for a change of position), sprinkle a little flour around the inside of the bowl and start kneading within the bowl. As you knead use the sides of the bowl to push the dough against for some resistance. Knead for 10 minutes – yes 10 minutes! Do not shortcut this bit as this is the most important part! I pop a CD on and knead for approx 4 tracks so I don’t have to keep looking at the clock – more fun that way…
6. Once kneaded make whatever shape you want – I tend to do an oval and sprinkle some flour on the outside.
7. Place on baking tray, cover with a warm clean damp tea-towel and leave for approx. 45 minutes until it has doubled in size – it may need up to 1 hour. I actually place mine in the airing-cupboard at this stage as the gentle heat will assist the yeast.
8. Place in a pre-heated oven at 230degrees/Gas mark 8 (less for a fan oven – use your judgement based on how you normally reduce temp – all ovens are different). Set timer and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature and bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
9. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and then grab a slice (for all your hard work) and add some butter whilst still warm!
Please note that as the loaf does not contain preservatives it will not last as long as a shop bought one – but it won’t anyway, as it will soon be eaten up by your incredibly impressed family!
How simple is that?
p.s If you’d like see an amazing loaf and learn how to do it – check out The Frugal Girl
** Please note that I am not a qualified nutritionist or professional cook. My recipes are what I put together at home and all amounts etc… are approximate. What I write is my own experience of cooking the recipe. Ovens and ingredients do vary – just go with it, have fun and apply common sense at all times! Practise makes perfect!
Please let me know how it goes in the comments below