Eat your heart out, David Cameron!
John found an easy bread recipe we both like.
We’ve not agreed on the bread question since we left London. There, we’d always buy and freeze the proverbial sliced white and enjoy fresh the “artisan” bread from Tesco. Or occasionally treat ourselves to a loaf from Dunn’s in Crouch End. But since we moved to Poland, we’ve not found bread we like at either end of the scale – or, indeed, in the middle!
John has been getting around this by baking American-style “biscuits”, plain, fruity or cheesy, but for the most part we’ve been buying bread for sandwiches.
At last we’ve found a bread recipe that works for us. It’s simple, straightforward, and although it uses yeast it does not require too much kneading. Not too needy, as you might say!
OK, you might not.
So, the recipe is simple.
500g plain flour
1 packet of instant yeast (7g)
10.5 fl oz warm water or warm milk
Put the flour into your mixing bowl. Put the salt at one side and the yeast at the other. Put the room-temp butter or margarine into the middle and work it all together – think breadcrumbs. Then add the warm liquid and it all turns into dough.
Work the dough for a couple of minutes then dribble a little olive oil onto the surface and cover the bowl (incl dough) with a damp clean cloth and leave somewhere warm for an hour.
Make and drink coffee, do a bit of cleaning, watch some TV, surf … how you spend the hour is up to you.
Still with us? OK. Select your baking tray and sprinkle it with flour. Or get out your non-stick loaf tin.
Turn your dough out onto an oiled surface and give it a good pummelling. Then shape it into your loaf, rolls or whatever and plop it into/onto your baking tin/tray. Cover with your still-slightly damp cloth and leave for another hour.
The second knead is also when you add any cheese or fruit and nuts. Cheese and sun-dried tomatoes is a good one!
Now because you’re going to need a hot oven in an hour or so, this is not a bad time to bake a cake or something. Dundee cake is delicious, but most often we just make variations on Madeira – though if you soak some fruit first for 20 minutes in tea, the resulting fruity cake is superb!
Now, turn your oven on to 220 degrees. When it’s hot, pop your loaf in and give it half an hour. Rolls will take more like 20 minutes. When you think time’s up, tap your loaf and so long as it sound hollow, it’s ready.
Cool, then eat with lots of butter, jam, ham …