Don't let FOMO get to you, join the baking club with these simple bread recipes
The lockdown has unlocked some baking skills for some people.
Over the past weeks, many people have been baking all types of bread to keep busy and add to their dinner or breakfast tables.
Speaking to Azania Mosaka, food critic Anna Trapido says we live in an era where anxiety baking is a thing.
Baking can be quite soothing and people are looking for that.Anna Trapido, Food Critic
All bread for thousands of years is as old as people. It is basically just flour, yeast and salt.Anna Trapido, Food Critic
Listen to the full audio here:
Check out the cool recipes here:
IF YOU CAN FIND YEAST; VERY BASIC WHOLEWHEAT BREAD RECIPE
(makes 1 small loaf of about 10 generous slices)
150g/ 1 cup cake flour
110g/ 1 cup nutty wheat flour
45g/ 1/2 cup oats
35g/ 1/2 cup bran
10g/ 1 packet instant dry yeast
5ml/ 1 teaspoon salt
1 generous handful dried fruit of your choice
15ml/ 1 TBS honey
375ml/ 1 1/2 cup of warm water
15ml/ 1 tablespoon oil
Poppy and sesame seeds and a little milk to garnish
- In a large bowl combine the flours, oats, bran, yeast, salt and dried fruit.
·- In a separate bowl combine the water, oil and honey.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. You want the batter to be of a dropping consistency (ie. clinging to the spoon but eventually dropping off).
The amount of water a batter dough will need is dependent on the weather - wet humid days require less than dry days. But don't worry, this recipe is fool-proof - If the mixture is too stiff add a little more water. If too sloppy add a little more cake flour.
Grease a bread tin and pour your batter dough into the tin. The batter dough should fill the tin to half way up the sides. Do not fill it fuller than half way as the bread will still rise! If you have extra batter rather make a second loaf.
Cover the tin with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place to double in size. The time this takes will vary - on a hot day yeast rises faster than on a cold day. While the bread dough is rising preheat your oven to 180C.
Brush the risen bread dough with a little milk and sprinkle seeds on top. Bake until cooked through, approximately 30 minutes.
IF YOU CAN’T BUY YEAST THERE ARE 2 WAYS TO PROCEED; EITHER MAKE BREADS THAT USE OTHER RAISING AGENTS OR GET MORE AMBITIOUS AND MAKE A SOUR DOUGH STARTER
NB. SOUR DOUGH IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED
There are lots of ‘breads’ that use raising agents that are not yeast. Irish Soda bread for instance or my lovely Mealie bread recipe. ‘Real’ bread makers will be a bit sniffy about them – they will say that they are actually a kid of savoury cake but who cares? No one sees you in quarantine and they taste great.
BEST EVER MEALIE BREAD RECIPE (Comes via Retha Thorpe at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek – no yeast baking powder).
(Makes 1 small loaf)
250g sweetcorn, blended 2 eggs 25g sour cream or buttermilk or amasi
15g butter, melted 1 tbsp parsley or chives, very finely chopped 125g flour 5ml baking powder 15ml salt
Blend corn to a rough pulp then mix the sweetcorn, eggs, sourcream/buttermilk, melted butter (in the restaurant we use caramelised onion butter) and chopped parsley together.
Mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.
Bake at 180c until cooked through and golden – about 40 minutes.
SODA BREAD RECIPE (Nigel Slater recipe from the Guardian. Requires no yeast – uses bicarb instead)
Makes 1 medium sized loaf
450g Wholemeal flour
50g rolled oats
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 TBS treacle
1 TBS honey
450ml buttermilk, amasi or milk soured by the addition of 1 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS melted butter to finish
Preheat oven to 200C and grease a baking sheet.
In bowl 1 combine all dry ingredients
In bowl 2 combine all wet ingredients
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in stir together until you have a soft sticky dough (hands work better than a spoon).
Form your dough into a round on your baking sheet. Cut a deep cross in the centre and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour (crust should be golden and when you tap it underneath it will sound hollow)
Take out oven, brush with butter and leave to cool. Eat asap – it doesn’t keep well beyond 24 hours.
SOUR DOUGH – for super patient people:
Sour dough is great. It tastes delicious. It is super digestible but it is initially time consuming and it is quite difficult to get right. Not impossible but there can be teething problems.
Sourdough breads are made using a ‘starter’ (also known as a ‘mother’ or a ‘pre-ferment’). This is a mixture of flour and water combined with wild yeasts and bacteria from the air that you nurture and feed until the mixture comes alive and goes bubbly. This is your raising agent that will make your subsequent breads rise.
Once you have brought your starter to life you can use a small portion of it to make the breads you subsequently bake.
The starter can stay alive for years if you treat it nicely. You need to recognize that creating a sour dough starter is like getting a pet. It is a pet – it is a living thing that needs attention. It is potentially a very long lived pet – there are bakers in Germany using starters started in the 18th century. People leave their pre-ferments to others in their wills.
People who are good at it will tell you it’s easy – it’s not. If you are the sort of person who struggles to keep house plants alive you will struggle to keep your sourdough starter alive.
In normal times you might well have just been given some starter from a kind friend but in these tough times you are going to have to start from scratch and make your own. This will take you about 5-7 days (but can take up to 2 weeks – it all depends on the yeasts in your air, the weather and a whole lot of other unknowns).
HOW TO MAKE A SOUR DOUGH STARTER:
75ml/5 tbsp fresh, live, full-fat, plain yoghurt
On day one, heat the milk in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Place the yoghurt into a bowl and stir in the warmed milk. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours until thickened. Stir in any liquids that may have separated.
- 120g white bread flour
On day two, stir the strong white flour into the yoghurt mixture, incorporating evenly. Cover and leave at room temperature (about 20C) for two days. The mixture should be full of bubbles and smell pleasantly sour.
180g bread flour
100ml warm water
40ml/3 tbsp milk
On day four, add the measured flour to the starter with the water and the milk. Cover and leave at warm room temperature for 12-24 hours.
150g bread flour
150ml warm water
On day five the starter should be quite active now and be full of little bubbles. Remove half of the starter and discard. Add the flour and the water to the remaining starter and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave at warm room temperature for 24 hours.
On day six the starter should be ready to use. You can keep the starter at room temperature, but you will need to feed it daily. Combine equal parts of the starter, water and flour and mix thoroughly. You
may have to discard some of the starter so that you do not end up with too much. Keep covered and use as needed. If baking less often, keep the starter covered in the fridge, feeding it once every five days or so by mixing equal parts of starter, flour and water.
ACTUAL BREAD METHOD
500g white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
300g sourdough starter (see above)
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
Flavourless oil for greasing
Mix together the flour, sourdough starter and 250ml water in a bowl. Add the sugar and salt. Turn out on to a surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the 'windowpane effect' is achieved (where the dough can be stretched until it is so thin that it becomes transparent).
Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 2½–3 hours. You won't notice as much of a rise in the dough as you would with a normal, yeasted bread and it will take a lot longer.
Turn out the dough onto a surface and knock back. Portion the dough into two and shape into two ball-shaped loaves. Flour generously and place each loaf seam-side up in a bowl, lined with a couche cloth or a heavily-floured teatowel – without the cloth, your loaf will stick in the bowl and you won't be able to turn it out. Leave to prove for a further 2½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 230C. Put a few ice cubes or cold water into a baking tin and place in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
Turn the loaves out onto a baking tray. Using a thin sharp knife score two or three times on the top of the loaf and place in the oven. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the
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