I know, I know… White bread isn’t the healthiest choice of bread, choose whole grains and all that, but who can deny the allure and comfort of white bread toasted, lathered in butter and vegemite, with a cup of tea? That’s what I thought. No one! *feigns deafness*
Last year I attended a fantastic seeds and grains bread making class at Brasserie Bread, but had yet to bake my own bread at home. Until now. I admit this basic white bread goes against all of their wonderful artisan methods which produce complex and nutritious breads. I’m sorry. Consider this the homemade fast food equivalent.
The day I summoned the courage to bake my own bread was when we found ourselves breadless over the weekend. In the interest of being frugal I decided to bake my own – thanks to a semi-well-stocked kitchen cupboard!
Turning to my well-worn, favourite cookbook, Cook by The Australian Women’s Weekly, I set about baking my first loaf of basic white bread.
This recipe is easy, and maybe even foolproof (don’t quote me on that). I only had almond milk at hand – and it worked fine. Then after the dough had risen I decided to put it the fridge, wrapped in clingfilm, to bake the next evening – and it still worked fine!
The scent of baking bread made our apartment smell incredible, and there’s something extremely satisfying about making your own bread. Remember when Tom Hanks made fire in Castaway? That’s how it feels.
Next time I might even dust some flour or polenta on top before baking, or add some seeds and grains, or garlic and rosemary, or raisins and chocolate chips…
Do you have any bread baking tips? What are your favourite types of bread? I love a good rye bread.
Into the oven
Basic White Bread
Recipe from Cook by The Australian Women’s Weekly
Preparation time: 30 minutes (plus standing time)
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 3 teaspoons dried yeast (or 1 x 7g sachet)
- 1/2 cup (125ml) warm water
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 30g butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (125ml) warm milk
- Whisk yeast, the water, and sugar in a small bowl until yeast dissolves, cover; stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.
- Sift flour and salt into a large bowl; stir in butter, milk, and yeast mixture. Turn dough onto floured surface; knead for about 10 minutes or until dough is elastic (I timed the clock for 10 minutes). Place dough into a greased bowl, cover; stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to moderately hot (200°C/180°C fan-forced). Grease oven tray.
- Turn dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth. Roll dough to a 18cm x 35cm rectangle (harder than it sounds); roll up from short side like a swiss roll. Place on tray; cut four diagonal slashes across the top. Cover with a tea towel; stand in warm place for 20 minutes or until risen.
- Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
- Marvel at your creation!