Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Homemade Bread

I know what will follow after I've made this first loaf of bread: The infatuation will wear away and I will focus on some other experiments in the kitchen. However, the smell of this loaf as well as its mind-blowing taste has already taken its unique corner somewhere there in my memory. It's definitely worth the effort! Many of us think making bread is time-consuming and difficult as I used to do. But, believe me or not, it's easy, tasty and time efficient which I realised just as I was slicing my cooled down loaf. Moreover, you don't need any special equipment to make your freeform bread.  All you need is 

* flour (preferably all-purpose)
* milk
* yeast
* salt 
* sugar 

While the dough was rising, I took Milou out to the post office and posted a letter to a friend in Turkey. On the way back home, we stopped by the green grocer's and bought some fresh paprika and leeks which should tell you that you shouldn't worry if you outstretch the time for the dough to rise. The dough's so considerate! 

Here comes the directions:

  1.  Add a cup of warm milk to the yeast and stir until you get some tan-colored liquid.  
  2. Add salt and a little bit of sugar (Yeast feeds on sugar) to the yeast liquid and stir a little more. 
  3. Add the flour slowly. It will stick to your hands at first but keep stirring and adding flour till the dough doesn't stick to your hands and it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 
  4. Time for kneading. Just beat on it for some 5 to 10 minutes until you shape it into a ball. Punch it, squeeze it or twist it! It's the therapy you need!
  5. Put the dough into the bowl and a damp cloth over the bowl. Leave the bowl somewhere warm for one hour until the dough doubles in volume. 
  6. Punch the dough down and shape it using a bit more flour to prevent sticking, if necessary. 
  7. I just rolled it up and put the loaf inside of a rectangular cake pan with a cookie sheet on.
  8. Cover the loaf with a damp cloth or a towel and keep it for another hour in a warm place again. The loaf should raise some more.
  9. Put the loaf in the preheated oven at 200 °C and bake for about 25 minutes. Let it cool down before slicing. 

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