March 7, 2011 in Uncategorized
I love bread – it is probably the staple part of my diet. I try and limit my in-take … but honestly, is there anything better than fresh bread, warm from the oven … slathered in butter! Be still my beating heart …
I’ll admit, I usually pop down to the shops and pick up those par-cooked breads. None of the labour and all of that
However, while we were in NZ my family introduced me to a very basic bread recipe … which results in a gorgeous variety of breads! It’s a very simple recipe … admittedly it does take a little more time than the store-bought kind … but there is something very satisfying about sitting down to a meal and eating home-made bread.
My brother-in-law making flatbreads
Basic bread recipe
2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Add the yeast to the water and allow it to foam up. Then combine the flour, salt, sugar and oil … make a well in the centre and pour the yeasty liquid in. Bringing the flour towards the centre, knead the dough until it’s soft and elastic. (If the dough is a little too dry, add more water and if it’s too sticky add more flour.)
Roll the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and leave until it doubles in size.
Punch the dough back and roll back into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. (Alternatively, you can divide the dough into small portions and pop these into the freezer for later use.)
To make a loaf of bread:
Shape the dough into a loaf or use a greased loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven (220 degrees) for about 45 mins (depending on your oven)
To make pita breads:
On a floured surface, roll out the dough into circles and place in a warm place for an hour. Preheat the oven (230 degrees) and bake the pitas for about 20 mins. Times will depend on your oven and the size and thickness of your pitas – so you’ll need to keep an eye on these and take them out once they start to colour.
To make flat breads:
Using small pieces roll the dough out fairly thinly and shape as desired (make sure you flour your surface to stop the dough from sticking). Bake on a lightly oiled pan (on a medium-high heat) and when bubbles appear flip over to cook the other side.
You can even use the dough as a pizza base – roll out to the desired shape and thickness and top with tomato pasta, cheese and toppings. The basic recipe can also be jazzed up with some other flavours … a sprig of rosemary or some coriander and cumin seeds.
x sim x