Friday, 17 September 2010

Homemade bread

My nearly-two-year-old daughter LVS was being a pain. My foot is broken so running around outside and going for long trips to places is currently a no, and she was bored to tears inside. So I decided to make some bread with her and see if she'd find it interesting.

Now I have never had success with making bread and the other day I realized why. My yeast has an expiration date. Therefore, it doesn't activate, or rise, so my bread is always thick and heavy! I promptly made a trip to Tesco's to fix the problem. I found some very cheap quick-acting bread yeast, some stone ground whole what flour, and we marched back to the kitchen. 

I really don't know how much flour I used, it was a good 3 cups or so and I dumped in a heaping teaspoon of salt, a little more sugar, and the dry yeast and mixed it around. I then added some warm water very slowly and mixed until the dough was a big clump that stuck together but was thick enough to lift out of the bowl with my hands. I placed the lump on my floured counter and gave my daughter her own to play with and together we kneaded it for a good ten minutes, adding flour as needed until it was a nice thick elastic dough. Needless to say, my daughter loved it! 

I put both lumps in their own floured bowls and stuck them in the airing cupboard for a little as I showed LVS how to clean the counter and wash the mixing bowl. 30 minutes later, she got to knead her dough again, and then it was placed in the airing cupboard for another half hour or so while the oven preheated to 200C. I dumped the dough out onto a floured counter again, lightly dusted the top with white flour, and cut a simple design into it before setting it on a baking sheet in the oven. about 30 minutes and it was nearly done, but the bottom was a bit soggy so I flipped it onto it's now hard top and baked for another 10 min. Then it went onto 
a cooling rack while me and LVS watched the evening news.

A little while later and the loaves had that nice thunk sound when you tap them and the crust crunched just so. I sliced off a couple pieces and we had lovely warm buttered break for a snack. The only thing I'd change next time, is to use a tiny bit more salt. Too little, and the bread is just bleh. I'll add a few heaping teaspoons next time, and maybe one more just for good measure...
The lighting is terrible but the bread was awesome!

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