I started a bread project sometime in a previous life (or so it seems). I have now made it! I can no bake bread. And they’re good too 😀 I had a few criteria that needed to be fulfilled before I could call the project successful:
- it had to be easy
- baking couldn’t be time consuming and fit well into a busy schedule
- the bread would have taste good
- and be healthier than most shop-bought breads
- and without additives and stuff I’m unable to pronounce
I now bake about two times each week. I spend 30 minutes all together in the evening making the dough, and another 30 minutes in the morning. During those 30 minutes I multitask, as they consist of no more than 10 minutes actual work while the rest is spent waiting. To do this I need some kind of kitchen appliance that kneads dough. I am very happy with my now tired and weary Kenwood. Now, before starting on the recipes there are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way (I have now been baking for about a year, and have tried and failed a lot).
- the yeast should be fresh as it is easier to work with
- yeast packed in plastic foil will last for weeks in the fridge, and work perfectly fine no matter what the date says
- you never need more than a few grams of yeast, I use a piece the size of my pinky fingernail
- always use cold water with fresh yeast
Then onto making the dough, which really is very simple.
- preferably let your machine knead the dough for 10 minutes
- the dough has the right consistency if it lets go of the bowl (it forms like a ball while kneading)
- let the dough rise twice, first in its bowl, then shape it before placing it in a bread form
- don’t add sugar, honey or syrup if you plan to let the dough rise overnight
- always add a pinch of salt
I make the dough in the evening. Then leave on the counter overnight. In the morning I knead it a bit more, adding more flour until it no longer sticks to my fingers. I make two bread and place them in their forms, turn on the oven and hit the shower. The breads don’t need to rise for a long time, and by the time I’m dressed (20 mins later) the oven is warm and I bake them for about an hour.