So, at the age of 32, I’m finally entering the world of bread baking AND I’m doing it from scratch AND I’m doing it without the help of a bread machine. Fun times! I’ve had it on my list of things to learn how to do, and so, I guess you’re never too old to start learning new skills, eh?
So, this is the result of my bread baking excursion :) Two yummy loaves of white bread! I’m sure I’ll get into other fancier and healthier versions of bread, but you might as well start with a simple, basic white bread recipe to begin!
I would say this recipe is amazingly delicious, soft and fluffy on the inside, with a nice crispy crunch on the outside. I will definitely keep this recipe and recommend it to all of you who want to start learning how to bake bread! If it didn’t intimidate me (and I get intimidated by multiple-step baking), then you can do it too!
The best part is the punching-the-dough part which you do in the middle of the process. Oh, it was VERY satisfying… So, I’ll stop rambling and share the recipe with you now:
5 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp bread yeast
¾ cup cold water
2 Tbsp oil
¾ cup boiling water
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp water
Combine 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add cold water and oil, immediately followed by boiling water. Stir to a smooth paste and stand 2-3 mins. Gradually mix 2 cups of flour into the yeast mixture.
When flour is mixed in, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, using part of the reserved cup of flour for this. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. If the dough is still sticky, add a little of the remaining measured flour, kneading until smooth and elastic, or until dough springs back when lightly touched. Lightly brush large bowl with oil. Place dough in bowl. Brush top with a little oil. Cover. Put in a warm place until double in size.
Punch dough down in the centre. Carefully take dough out of bowl and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 mins. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a ball. Place the two balls side by side in a greased deep 22cm loaf tin. (or just put two balls into 2 separate small loaf tins. Cover. Leave in a warm place until double in size or until dough reaches top of tin.
Brush surface of dough with egg wash. If wished, sesame seeds, oat bran or poppy seeds can be sprinkled on top.
Bake at 200C (390F) for 30 mins or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on base (bottom) of bread.
Combine egg yolk and water