“How do you make Homer Simpson Bread????”
I lovingly blame my kids for that bad joke (even though I made it up). Following a recent trip to their cousin, and Christmas, we have had a month of knock knock and cracker jokes, and now its just getting very silly. The kids don’t entirely get the jokes but crease up with laughter when delivering random punch lines, which in turn makes us laugh, which makes them laugh, and so on….
But, back to bread. As blogged before, my new years resolutions include baking more bread than I buy this year. Here is an easy and tasty bread recipe for basic white bread…
Makes 4 loaves, eat one fresh and warm, freeze the others. This gives me enough bread for the week (2 adults, 2 toddlers and a baby….).
1.5kg strong white flour
800ml warm water (approx 35 degrees celsius)
6 tbsp. oil (I use Rapeseed or Virgin Olive)
2.5 Tbsp. instant (dried) yeast
1 tbsp. salt
Place the yeast in a bowl with 4 tbsp taken from the warm water and sugar. Set to one side to froth. Put flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, mix by hand. Add oil, frothy yeast mixture, and remainder of warm water, and mix and then knead by hand, or, use a mixer machine with the dough hook on low-medium speed for approx 5 minutes until the dough has lost some of its stickiness and forms a soft stretchy dough. Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth or cling film and leave for 1 hour.
In Singapore room temperature is 25-28 degrees, so perfect for proving dough. If you live somewhere cooler put your dough some place cosy like the airing cupboard or next to a radiator. Just keep it covered to stop it drying out. The dough should increase its size by half or even double.
Next turn your dough out onto a lightly oiled surface. Knead by hand and divide into four equal amounts. Shape your dough by hand and then place on an oiled and floured baking tray, leaving enough space for your loaves to increase in size by half again. Leave covered for another hour.
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place a large roasting tin at the bottom of your oven. Boil a kettle of water. Place your loaves in the oven. Immediately pour the boiled water into the tin below. BE CAREFUL, USE OVEN GLOVES, THE WATER WILL BUBBLE AND STEAM A LOT! Shut the door quickly and bake for 20-25 minutes until bread is a rich golden brown.
Test bread by knocking on underside, it makes a hollow sound when cooked. Place bread on a cooling rack to cool. Voila!