We’re moving from the hob to the oven for my next recipe book – it’s all about bread!
There is something truly magical about transforming the basic ingredients of flour, water, yeast and salt into a fully formed loaf of bread. Once I even sat for half an hour in front of the oven, just watching the loaf spring up, expand and brown. Like watching paint dry for some people, but not for me! Hashtag #lockdownlife.
Baking my own bread is a practice I will continue well beyond this extended time at home. Even though I am a cookery teacher, I didn’t really bake bread all that often whilst I was living in Manchester, and couldn’t include making bread in my classes because of the waiting time required for rising. I also lived on my own and it didn’t feel worth it to bake a loaf for one.
However, with the blessing of all this new extra time on my hands, I finally found the opportunity to really get into bread making. There are so many food bloggers and online recipes out there that claim to make ‘the best ever’ loaf. But I think they massively overcomplicate the process.
Honestly, there are just 9 simple steps to master when it comes to making bread. And all loaves are based on these steps. In a nutshell: measure ingredients in a large bowl, knead, 1st rise, shape, 2nd rise, pre-heat oven, bake, and cool. Once you practice a few times, you will be able to make a loaf just by looking at the weight of ingredients and doing everything else by heart.
These recipes all use instant/fast-action yeast 7g sachets to give rise to the bread, so these are not sourdough bread recipes. These bread recipes are perfect for those who are new to baking and don’t want to go through the process of making or procuring and maintaining a sourdough starter. Though if you are interested in making sourdough bread, look out for my next recipe book!
Have you enjoyed my 1 Recipe = 10 Dishes series so far? If yes, please consider making a donation to the brilliant new grassroots project Common Ground.
Common Ground is a new community event series launching in London later this year. The Common Ground platform will showcase the work of groundbreaking leaders and organisations that are working to solve systemic issues of racism and inequality in the UK and explore how these issues affect the music and creative industries, and wider society. Talks, live debates and music will come together at Common Ground events to educate, inspire and mobilise people to become drivers of real change in their communities.
We need to build back better now. There is no return to ‘normal’ or life as we knew it post-coronavirus. It’s time for us to use this opportunity to build the kind of society we already should have had a long time ago. Common Ground will be a part of this much needed change.
Look out for more cooking tips and recipes on the 4Lunch Facebook page.
Lots of love,