Sunday, November 20, 2011

Simple White Bread

At our pig feast last May I was asked several times for the recipe of the breads I brought along. To be honest, it is the most simplest recipe you can think of. Use the basic recipe below to create your own versions (my favourites are garlic and roasted onion and sun-dried tomato).

500g strong bread flour, salt (to your tasting), 25g fresh yeast (or 14g dried yeast - 2 sachets), 50ml olive oil.

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a jug with 300ml lukewarm water, add the yeast and have it dissolve. Leave for a few minutes. Add the olive oil to the yeast water and add to the flour. Use your hands as a claw and start mixing the water with the flour. When it all comes together take the dough out of the bowl and start kneading it on a light floured surface. This works best if you have cleaned your hands of the sticky dough. Normal recipes say to knead for at least 10 mins - I knead until the dough feels springy and nothing sticks to the surface anymore. Put back into the bowl and let rise for about an hour (the colder the room the slower the rise). Knock back the dough and need again. You can form the dough into any shape you like but I use a loaf tin which is lined with baking paper. Bake in a moderate hot oven until the bread is browned and sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom and et voila you have a lovely bread.

If you want to vary the bread - pan-fry some chopped onions and garlic and add it to the flower before adding the water. Or chop up some sun-dried tomatoes (if you use jarred tomatoes, use the oil instead of the olive oil) and add to the flour. Your imagination is the limit...

Let me know if you have tried it and how it worked out for you. Happy baking...

P.S. You can buy fresh yeast at Iago in the English market

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