I’m a programmer by trade and spend most of my day making virtual things. I design and create software that exists only on screens. Increasingly I’m insterested in making things for the real world. What better place to start than with a loaf of bread.
This recipe is taken from the BBC Website and is billed as easy white bread. I can testify it is easy and really tasty to boot. It takes about 15 minutes of your time to make, two hours to prove and thirty minutes to bake.
In terms of kitchen stuff you’ll need
Here are the ingredients for the recipe. I actually halfed the recipe and it worked really well.
First of all put the flour into the mixing bowl. On one side add the yeast, on the other the salt and then drop the butter in the middle. I made this during winter so put the butter in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it.
Add some of the water to the bowl. This is where things get fun and you start to use your hands! Get your hands in there and start combining all the ingredients. Turn it around, mush it up until it starts to form a ball. You want it to be soft so that you can kneed it but not too wet. You have a bit of play - if it gets too wet add more flour and it is too dry add more water.
Once the ingredients are combined put a little oil on your work surface and spread it out. Put your dough onto it and start kneeding it. You want to stretch it so push with your hands and imagine that you are stretching it out. Do this for about five minutes until it is springy to touch. This is a great chance to take some stress out on a ball of dough.
Once you have kneeded the dough throw a little flour into the mixing bowl and place the dough back into it. Place a damp tea towel over the top and put it somewhere warm. I put it in my airing cupboard. Leave it for an hour. When you remove the tea towel you should see that it has doubled in size.
Now you want to knock the air out of the dough but work it as little as possible. Turn it over and give it a light press until you feel the air coming out of the dough. Now you can form it into a ball again and place it on the baking tray you’ll be using. I have a baking mat on top of a standard baking tray. Place the tray back into the airing cupboard and after another hour you will see that it is doubled in size again.
Throw a little flour over the dough and give it a light rub. Take a bread knife and cut across the dough three or four times.
A baking tray on the bottom of the over with some water in adds steam to the over and makes the bread more crusty. It tried it and it works! Heat the over to 220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7 for 30 minutes. Resist the urge to open the oven.
Take it out of the over and leave it somewhere to cool. Then when it is still warm cut yourself a slice, spread some butter on it and eat it. Share it with your friends and family and they will love it. There is a real pleasure in seeing something in front of you that you made with your hands.
Have an update or suggestion for this article? You can edit it here and send me a pull request.