Sunday, 18 January 2009

Bread glorious bread............

just dripping with butter................

How do you like my "rendition" of the bread version of Food glorious food? I have to confess I'm a bread fiend! Any type even the nasty white sliced bread from the supermarket, as long as it's fresh or warm or toasted with butter or like this mornings breakfast dripping with lemon curd!

I've made this bread a lot of times and it's the same recipe I use to make my pizza dough. It's from Jamie Oliver's first book The Naked Chef and it's such a versatile recipe with lots of possibilities for flavouring the bread if you want to. Me, I just like it fresh from the oven and don't even need to put anything on it!

In saying that though have been consciously trying not to eat bread for about the last 6 months going from eating a full loaf of my favourite sliced bread Big Toast Brown every week to maybe eating only a couple of slices of the husbags beloved white sliced type and sometimes none at all! This was something I had wanted to make all week, once I got passed my lemon/citrus and pear cravings on Tuesday and Wednesday, curd and pear crumble followed these.

So after all my rambling here's what to need;

1lb of plain white flour, I use Tesco Organic plain flour or you could use 500g plain flour an 500g semolina flour
3x 7g sachets of dried yeast
1oz honey/sugar
1 pint tepid water
1oz salt

Blend the yeast with the honey/sugar and half of the water together.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the yeast mixture.
Make a claw shape with your hand and bring the dry ingredients into the flour until all the yeast mixture is incorporated.
Pour in the rest of the water and mix together, don't be afraid to add more a little at a time if it's kinda dry as different flours can vary I think and use more or less water.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until the dough has come together and is springy and smooth.
Oil a large bowl (or use the one you've made the dough in washed out with warm water and the warmth will help the rising begin, tip courtesy of the domestic goddess Nigella) and put the dough in, scoring the top as this will help with the rise aswell.
Cover tightly with clingfilm and leave to double in size, this will take approx an hour. I normally turn my oven on to heat at this stage as it warms underneath the bowl and again helps the gluten to develop and the dough to rise.

Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back for about a minute or so. Shape into whatever shape you want and allow to rise so it is doubled in size again.
My loaf was made by shaping the dough into 5 equal sized balls and then putting them into a 10 inch springform tin, 1 in the middle and 4 around the sides so it's shaped like a flower.
Once risen, bake the bread at gas 7/225C for 20-25 mins or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom (you'll need to take it out of the tin for this).
Allow to cool and enjoy.

We had this with an amazing chickpea soup below that's a meal in itself from the Jamie's Italy book that I'll blog about again, I've made it for my lunches this week and should get 2 days out of it. It's flavoured with rosemary and so fragrant and the best of all weight watcher friendly!


veggievixen said...

i love making bread. even though it takes a while, it's not like you constantly have to watch it. it makes me feel so accomplished when it's finished. great technique! this looks great.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow bread looks soft and yummy.

English Mum said...

Ooh there's nothing like fresh bread. Although I hate kneading and never do it for quite long enough. I love how it makes the kitchen smell. Trouble is, then I want to eat the whole loaf with a big slab of butter!

Tartelette said...

That first picture just made me happy happy...there is something promising about an empty cake pan...and when it is scrumptious bread like this, well I'd say that's a homerun for me!

Well done!

The Blonde Duck said...

I saw you on Aimee's blog and had to say hello. I love the title of your blog! I wish we had fairy cakes in Texas.

Anonymous said...

I love making bread. I always use strong bread flour though as I thought it wouldn't work with plain. I'll have to rush home and try it now! Yum!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

I love bread too Rachel, especially dripping with a good salted Irish butter or some fine extra virgin olive oil.

That soup is one of my favourites, which reminds me it's months since I made it.

Treehouse Chef said...

Your bread looks great! I can't wait to try it. Excellent photos and layout!

biz319 said...

Your bread looks delicious. And yes, it isn't complete without butter!

Jamie said...

I also use Jamie Oliver's recipe for my pizza dough. At least once a week. I also make Italian focaccia with it and it is gorgeous! But I never make rolls or breads using this recipe and yours look great! Must try!

food courts said...

Your food photos are amazing! I’ve been lurking on your blog for awhile and finally thought I’d say something…. your photography is excellent.