Freelance writer, food blogger and Etsy store owner.
Published December 31st 2010
Baking your own bread is actually a lot easier than one might assume and doesn't even require a bread maker. All you need is a few ingredients, a couple of hours and a bit of patience.
Your basic ingredients begin with two teaspoons of dried yeast, two teaspoons of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, two cups of flour and one cup of warm water.
The flour needs to be plain flour. Alternatively you could use bread making flour, which should be available at your supermarket.
Start by sifting your flour into a large bowl.
Next, stir in your sugar, your salt and your yeast.
Then, make a well in the middle of your bowl and gently pour in the warm water.
Mix everything together to make a soft dough. Here is where you start to get your hands dirty.
Take your dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for ten minutes.
It's embarrassing to admit but the first time I made bread I had to google how to knead dough. So for other newbies - it turns out kneading dough is simple. Push down on the dough with your hands, palm or fist, working the dough outwards. Then fold it back into itself towards you and start again. You can watch a demonstration video here.
If you're finding your dough to be too sticky, gradually add in a bit more flour.
By the time you are done, the dough should be springy, or feel like an earlobe.
After about ten minutes when your dough is springy, roll it into a ball, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with cling wrap. You might also need to lightly oil the cling wrap.
Place the bowl somewhere warm and leave it for one hour, allowing the dough to double in size.
This is the part you get to choose your own ending. Think about what type of bread you want to make. You could leave your bread plain or you could add various ingredients.
A popular option is adding olives and green onion. For this you need two green onions (sliced) and about one cup of pitted black olives chopped up in halves, or smaller if you prefer. Make sure you absorb the liquid from the olives using paper towel.
Another idea is adding approximately one cup of chopped semi-dried tomatoes and half a cup of fresh chopped basil. Make sure you absorb the liquid from the tomatoes with paper towel.
Once the dough has doubled in size place it back on a lightly floured surface. Spread it out and work in the extra ingredients bit by bit.
Then, shape the bread however you like - rectangular loaf shaped if you prefer or perhaps a round loaf shape.
Place the dough onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and then into an oven which you should have preheated at 170 degrees Celcius. Your bread should be ready about 40 minutes later.
Take the bread out of the oven and leave it for five to ten minutes before cutting into it.
Make sure you try it while it's still warm out of the oven!
I love eating home made bread. It tastes the best when it comes out of the oven and you spread butter all over it and get some cheese on the side. My mum usually makes corn bread and we have that with Greek yoghurt. It is a really nice combination. Or olive bread can be nice for those who love olives, because you can taste it in the dough and smell it. Yummy.
By Lil Uni Girl - senior reviewer Saturday, 1st of January @ 01:35 am