Bread: How to Make It
We all love bread. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, our preference is to eat it with cheese. Today, we’re going to show you three ways to make your own bread.
1. Make it completely from scratch
If you’ve never made bread before, you’ll find that it’s much easier than you think. All you need is flour, salt, yeast, some kind of fat, and water. You can change various elements of this, but we’ll show you how to make a simple white bread.
You will need:
500g/18oz strong white bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
7g/ 1/4oz sachet of dried yeast
3tbsp olive oil or melted butter
300ml/10 fluid oz water
A mixing bowl
A loaf tin
1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and oil/melted butter a little at a time.
3. Mix everything together until you have a dough. You may not need all of the liquid to achieve this, but likewise, if it is a little stiff you can add more water.
4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until you have a silky, smooth dough. There are lots of videos available online if you haven’t kneaded a dough before.
5. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and leave it to rise for one hour. It should double in size.
6. “Knock back” the dough. This involves pushing the air out of it and kneading it again briefly.
7. Shape the dough into your loaf tin. If you don’t have a loaf tin, line a baking sheet with parchment and form the dough into a ball. In both cases, leave it to prove for another hour.
8. Bake at 420F for 25 – 30 minutes until it is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
9. Cool on a wire rack.
You’ll want to dig in straight away, but allow it to cool slightly so that it is easier to slice.
2. Use a bread maker
A bread maker essentially involves putting the ingredients above into the bread maker and letting it do the work. They will usually come with lots of recipes so that you can make different types of bread as well as preparing pizza dough or cakes that you can then bake in the oven.
Often, you can even set a bread maker so that it makes bread overnight and you wake up to the smell of freshly baked dough in the morning.
3. Use a pre-made mix
These are available in lots of supermarkets. Usually, you simply add water, knead the dough and put it in the oven. This is a quick way to make bread but we would recommend making it from scratch if you have time. It only takes a little longer but the taste is incredible.
Once you’ve conquered the technique, you can start changing your creations. Try wholemeal, multigrain or even add herbs and spices.
Now all you have to do is decide how you want to eat your bread. Slather it with butter, add some cheese, dip it in soup: the choice is yours!