The smell of freshly baked bread in the oven- who can resist that?
Baking your own bread for the first time is a very rewarding and proud moment as far as cooking goes!
The whole process of bread making originated in ancient times. As far back as 2000 BC fermented bread was made by the Egyptians. The method they used was to use a little old dough to start the new. Once they were mixed together they were left to ferment for a few hours before they were baked.
Bread in general is now one of the mostly widely consumed foods in the world therefore an integral part our diet. It provides us with an important source of carbohydrates.
The advantages of baking bread at home is it is very cost effective, it does not have the artificial additives and undeclared processing aids and you can experiment according to your taste buds.
The very first time that you attempt to make bread can be daunting but here are few tips to can you started:
lMeasure all your ingredients out before you start - small differences in the amount of water, yeast or salt can make a big difference to your finished loaf
lPre-heat your over as this will give the dough the added lift as it rises
lYour dough should be super sticky and should almost flow rather than fall. Wetter is better- this is the important bread rule.
lDon’t knead, unless you really need to. It would be better to replace it with an extra hour proving at room temperature
lAs we make such large quantities of bread daily we have used a mixer when making the dough
975g Strong Flour
750ml Cold Water
10g Fresh Yeast
lWeigh up the ingredients in the mixing bowl, keeping in mind not to let the yeast and salt come in contact with each other as it will kill yeast.
lAdd water to the dry mixture.
lPlace under a mixture and leave for 10 minutes.
lCling film the mixture and leave to prove for two hours.
lPlace onto a floured worktop and mould into desired shape, make sure the baking tray is floured before placing onto it and leave to prove for another hour.
lPlace a tray of water in the bottom of the oven in order to keep it moist.
lBake for 20 minutes in the oven at 180c.
lStand for 10 minute and then it is ready.
Glenn Futter is head chef at La Cachette, Elland.