Apparently, bread is about 30,000 years old!! I love it but have been put off it in recent years in an attempt not to commit carbicide. I do allow myself one slice a day with a poached egg in the morning. It’s my favourite start to the day.
Like many people, I tend to buy my bread from the local supermarket, or as I have done in the past – buy an expensive bread maker in an attempt to get that home baked bread smell in the house that everyone loves. You can’t beat it. When visiting St.Fagans on a school visit, the best part was smelling the baking bread whilst walking by the bakers there. Hopefully, the bakers is still there and if so, it’s worth the trip.
Regardless of your views on the healthiness of bread, you can’t deny that a good bit of bread adds a bit of happiness to your day. It does mine.
I’ve never really made bread from scratch. As I ,mentioned, I’ve always decided to buy it from the shop – it’s easier, more convenient, and ultimately less hassle and consistently the right shape and size. So, why did I decide to start making my own bread. It’s probably cheaper buying it in the shop, but it definitely isn’t as satisfying as making your own loaf. It’s a great activity to help you spend time you can spend cooking with your kids too! This week I made Poppy Seed bread with my four year old and she loved it. It was an awesome way to fill Sunday afternoon. The look of satisfaction and pride on her face was worth the extra bit of effort. Bread Friends Forever!!
The fact of the matter is, like with all cooking, practise makes perfect. I didn’t get it right first time, but after a few attempts my bread is tastier than the ones I buy from the shop. I urge you all to give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? Here’s one you can try:
Daddy’s Olive and Sun Dried Tomato Homemade Bread
500g Strong White Bread Flour (You can get 1.5kg for less than a £1)
250ml of warm water (I just combine half boiling and half cold water)
25ml Rapeseed Oil (You can use olive oil if you prefer)
15g Sea Salt
6-10 Black, Pitted Olives (Sliced and Diced)
6-10 Sun Dried Tomatoes (Sliced and Diced)
1 Sachet of Fast Acting Yeast
- Combine The the flour, yeast and salt. Mix well, but be careful not to put the salt directly onto the yeast. I put the yeast in first, mix and then add the salt.
- Add the liquids and mix, then knead until they combine to form a smooth, elastic dough.
- Rest in the mixing bowl for 30 mins. Make sure it is covered with food wrap or a tea towel.
- Use some flour to dust a clean work surface. Scrap out the dough with a plastic spatula. You can use your hands if you want. You now need to knead your dough for about 15-20 mins. See this video for an example of how to knead bread dough.
- You know it is done when it is almost see through when stretched. I usually hold it up to the window or kitchen light.
- Place back into the mixing bowl to rest for 1 hour. It will double in size and smell slightly fermented when it’s done. Preheat your oven to 220C (200 for fan assisted), Gas mark 7 or 425 F. I have a bake setting on my oven so I don’t have to use a fan. I find this gives a better result.
- Knock out the dough by flattening hit out with your palms and then use your fingers to poke dimples in the dough.
- Now add the olives and sun-dried tomatoes by layering and folding.
- Place in a loaf tin or shape into a rectangle on baking paper. Put in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-35 mins.
- When baked correctly your bread should sound hollow when tapped. Place your loaf on a cooling rack until cold.
I like to serve this bread with LPR Friendly Bruschetta. I will put the recipe up soon. Promise.
On A Side Note.
I love YouTube for cooking tutorials. Here’s one I like about kneading dough. There are many chefs and videos out there. I like Chef Eric Arrouzé, his videos are simple and easy to follow and I love French cuisine. He’s got loads of other recipes you might like on his YouTube channel. It’s worth checking out.