Fish & Shellfish
Baking & Bread
Really, is there anything nicer than a slice of bread from a loaf you’ve made yourself, not long out of the oven and served with a warming bowl of homemade soup on a cold winter’s day? I’ve been experimenting with different ways of making bread over the last few weeks (for the days when I don’t have time to make sourdough), and this is definitely the one I’ll be using from now on. It’s quick, easy and really, really tasty. OK, so you can’t get away from the fact that a decent loaf needs a certain amount of rising time, but it takes just seconds to prepare this dough and then you can get on with other things while it sits in the airing cupboard (or other snug, warm place) for an hour.
I’ve used a mixture of wholemeal and white bread flour - a ration of around 1 to 4 works very well, but you can increase the amount of wholemeal flour if you prefer.
The soup I’ve made here to eat with the bread is Squash And Tomato, by the way - recipe for that to follow soon. It’s a variation on the recipe from a few weeks ago and is equally delicious (https://a-cooks-plot.blogspot.com/2019/11/squash-apple-and-cumin-soup.html). I’m slightly obsessed with squash soups at the moment!
Rub the butter into the flours, then stir in the salt and yeast. Stir the water in with a table knife until a dough is formed. If you have a food processor with a dough hook attachment, use it to knead the dough for 5 mins at medium speed or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 mins until the dough is smooth and bouncy.
Put in a large bowl and cover with a tea towel, then stand somewhere warm like the airing cupboard for 1 hour until well risen.
Knead again briefly on a lightly floured surface then either shape into a round or put in a loaf tin. Cover and stand again while the oven heats to 190C (fan oven). Brush with milk and bake for 35 minutes until well browned and the base sounds hollow when you tap it.
Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.