Baking Bread is like therapy….in the kitchen!
I was baking bread yesterday when I suddenly became aware of the calmness I felt. My hands slowly kneading, folding…. kneading, folding in a slow rhythmic fashion. As the dough became more and more elastic and warm, I became more and more relaxed. It was awesome.
So often I work on deadlines in my kitchen that I really loved making the bread……..
I decided then and there that I will definitely make time to bake bread more often. It is cheaper than therapy and I am guaranteed of good feed back when I serve warm bread to my family. I really do not like adding different flavors or herbs to my bread, although I did get a big “Wow!” when I made this Jamie Oliver creation!. I like bread simple, just plain to enjoy with a delicious jam or some cheese. For me, it is a meal in itself, nothing more is needed.
I know the professional bakers and chefs use sourdough plants and all sorts of techniques, but frankly it is way too much effort for me. As long as you use a good stone ground flour and some butter or olive oil, you will never be disappointed.
2,5kg Eureka Stone ground flour
2x10gr sachet instant yeast
about 2 liters lukewarm water
1 heaped tbs salt
125gr farm butter
Melt butter and add to the lukewarm water. Throw flour salt and yeast in a big mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and pour about ½ of the water in the hole. Start working the flour and water together with your hands, adding more water as needed. When the dough is mixed and sticky, pour the content of the bowl on a floured working space and start kneading and folding the dough back and forth until it becomes springy and elastic. That takes about 10 minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel and place in a warm place in the house.
Let the dough rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until it has doubled in volume. Knock it down and knead for another couple of minutes. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 180C. Place bread dough in prepared bread tins or make round loaves on a baking sheet. Let the breads rise again until it has doubled in size again. When ready, bake the round loaves for 40 minutes and the bread in tins for about 1 hour. If the bread sounds hollow when tapped, it is baked through. Take bread from baking sheet or pan and cool on ware racks.
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