...Give me flour!
Day 2 in the Hunter household with the ‘teacher’ (me) beginning the day in her PJ’s while waiting for her coffee to filter through. It’s all a bit surreal right now, but it also amazes me how we all adapt to a new normal. 9am and my 3 girls are sat around the kitchen table, books out and in full work mode.
Too good to be true right? and yes, very early days, but I’m appreciating every little positive. So...I guess routine and structure is important to everyone’s day especially in times of uncertainty, I know for me, by 9am my day normally looks very different and in Hollys, there would already have been several batches of scones through the oven.
So, my place of comfort is in the kitchen, making food. I have very vivid memories of standing on a stool in the kitchen with my mum, watching her pale blue sunbeam mixer do its thing, as she made fairy cakes...coconut buns and apple tarts. I found it fascinating, and got a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that we were going to be able to enjoy these bakes later round the table as a family.
Ok, back in the room... so, I decided to bake some bread with my youngest.
I’m not at all a bread baker, I so admire those that do, but to be honest it has always scared me a little. Cinnamon rolls I can rustle up quite happily, but plain white crusty bread, I have never made. So, I looked for a recipe. My ingredients cupboard has no strong bread flour (it seems to be in short supply at the moment) so I found a recipe from a website called ‘Gather for Bread’... see below, that just uses 5 ingredients, plain flour, dried yeast, salt, sugar and warm water, and I have to say I was pretty pleased at how well it turned out.
Give it a go for yourself and see!
1 tbl spoon dried yeast
1 tbl spoon sugar
1 tbl spoon salt
2 cups warm water
5 ½ - 6 cups plain flour (plus some for dusting)
Boiling water and a little olive oil
Method (this is my simplified steps)
1. In a large bowl mix together yeast, sugar, salt and warm water until yeast has dissolved. Gradually add sieved flour one cup at a time and mix with your hand until a dough is formed. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead.
2. Knead the dough for 5 minutes using the heel of your hands to push away, turning the dough at 90 degrees each time and repeat. Sprinkle only enough flour to stop it sticking. Scrape out and grease the mixing bowl with a little olive oil, knead the dough for another 2 minutes before placing it in the bowl, turning once to grease the top, covering bowl with a damp cloth and place somewhere warm for approx 1 ½ hours. The dough should double in size.
3. Remove from bowl and punch down the dough with your fist and knead out any air bubbles. Cut in half and shape into 2 loaves. Place loaves on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper that has been sprinkled with flour. Carefully slash the top of each loaf with a sharp knife 3 times, and lightly brush the top of each loaf with cold water. Place a roasting tray with 1 inch boiling water into the bottom of a cold oven. Place loaves into middle of oven then turn on at aprox 200 degrees C and bake for approx 35-40 mins until the loaves are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped.
Enjoy on the same day with lashings of real butter or some dipping oils : )