This weekend I decided that I really needed to make bread from scratch using fresh yeast. On Saturday morning, Michael and I started our bread making. Our first attempt was a whole wheat bread and it was not our greatest success to date. Initially we didn’t incorporate enough water into the mixture and, as a result, the gloopy mixture sat in the tin, as flat as a pancake, and didn’t rise one millimetre. We took the mixture out of the tin and added additional tepid water. This necessitated a re-kneading of the dough. I don’t know if you have ever tried to knead dough but it is jolly hard work. This time around, the dough rose beautifully and we baked it in the over for 30 minutes on 230 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite long enough and so the bread wasn’t quite cooked in the middle and was a bit doughy.
We were not going to be defeated by bread. So this morning at 6.15am, there we were in the kitchen again starting on our second attempt. This time we made white bread. I followed a much more complicated bread making methodology [I researched this on Google as I was not going to lose to bread].
Step 1: We added one and a half kilograms of white bread flour to the bowl together with four level teaspoons of salt. In a separate small bowl we mixed 30 grams of fresh yeast with 250 ml (1 cup) of tepid water and 1 level teaspoon of sugar. We poured the yeast mixture into a hole in the flour and set it aside in front of the heater for 20 minutes to sponge. Exactly 20 minutes later we retrieved the bowl and happily, the yeast has gone frothy and grown to twice its size as planned. Woohoo!
Step 2: We added another 500 ml (2 cups) of tepid water and kneaded the dough for 10 minutes. My goodness, this was hard work. My poor arms and hands are still tired. We covered the bowl with a plastic wrap and set it back in front of the heater to double in size. This took one hour.
Step 3: The dough rose beautifully and we took it back into the kitchen and knocked it back and re-kneaded it. I separated it into two parts of roughly one third and two thirds and put the dough into two oiled tins. One was much larger than the other hence the unequal splitting of the dough. We covered the tins with more plastic wrap and put them back in front of the heater for a further 30 minutes. The dough had again doubled its size and looked fat and puffy. Into the pre-heated oven went the break to back at 230 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. We then reduced the heat to 190 degrees Celsius and baked it for a further 40 minutes.
Step 4: We removed the bread from the oven and turned it out onto a clean tea towel. We wrapped the bread in the tea towel and left it to cool down.
It looked and smelled delicious.
We held on for a full twenty minutes before cutting the bread and tasting it. It was fantastic, a really yummy bread especially dripping with butter.
The Hamstah Dudes from Shey’s blog https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/ popped over for a nibble. We left them blissfully tucking in ….
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town (coming soon)