Break the bread……

The smell of homemade bread, they say can sell a house…..at least I’ve heard that one from an estate agent years ago. Maybe she was a very desperate estate agent at the time, but there is something to be said about the smell of freshly baked bread when you walk into a house or bakery.

In our South African culture, giving someone a fresh loaf of bread that you have baked yourself far surpasses a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates.
People generally are frightened of working with yeast and the whole process of kneading, leavening and waiting is just too much for most people, but I’m going to show you my way and trust me, if I can, everyone can.

This recipe yields 2 HUGE loaves

2,5kg flour (play around using different flours such as wholewheat, white, cake or a combo)
20 gr instant yeast
a closed handful of salt( +- 1Tbs)
a handful of sugar
2 liters strong lukewarm water
1/2 cup melted butter of vegetable oil

1. Place flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a big bowl (Jamie oliver does the ring of flour on the work- surface- thing, but this recipe is too big.)

2. Mix water and butter/oil.

3. Pour into flour mix and start kneading with your one hand until it all comes together.

4. Now, start to knead, pouring a little oil on your hands and working it until you have a firm ball of dough.

5. Cover with plastic and a blanket and place in warmest room you can find.

6. After about 30-4o minutes, check to see if the dough has risen enough. If not, leave for another 10-15 minutes.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 180 C

7. Once the dough has risen enough, rub some oil on your hands and give it another good kneading.

8. Form into 2 big loaves and fill bread pans about 1/2 full.

9. Leave again to rise until pans are 3/4 full.

10. Bake for 1 hour or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. (adjust time for smaller loaves.)

I use this dough for bread, bread rolls, pizza etc.
Once you have mastered this recipe, try different flavors, make cinnamon rolls, garlic and herb rolled bread, picnic loaves (will post in future).

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