Bread truly is one of the most wonderful foods. It is a staple of most cultures and can be found in many various forms on tables around the world.
There is nothing that gives me more culinary satisfaction than baking my own glorious loaf of bread. The aroma that fills the house when bread is baking brings me much joy.
Many people think it's difficult to pull off a good loaf of bread. Although much patience and time is required, it certainly isn't hard to do.
I encourage you to try your hand at it. You certainly won't regret it!
MAKES ONE LARGE LOAF
500g wholemeal flour
500g white flour
750ml tepid water
3 x 7g sachet dried yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
Flour, for dusting
In a large bowl, mix together the flours, yeast and salt.
Measure out the water and add the olive oil to this.
Make a well in the centre of you flour mix. Pour the water and oil into the centre and using your hand or a spoon, slowly bring everything together.
Using your hands, turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, bringing everything together to form a nice elastic dough.
Dust with flour and place back into the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm, draught free place for 45 minutes- 1 hour.
The yeast should have worked its magic and your dough should now be double in size. Time to knock it back. Punch the dough down and removed from the bowl. Knead for a further 5-10 minutes. Your dough should feel a little softer and more pliable.
At this point, you need to shape you dough and place it on the tray that you will bake it in. Let it rise for another 30-45 minutes. It needs to double in size again. This proving stage is the most important. It will become nice and airy so that when it is baked, it has a light, fluffy texture. Be patient, it will be worth the wait.
While your dough is in its final proving stage, preheat the oven to 190˚C, fan forced.
When it is ready, bake for around 25-30 minutes. You will know when it is done by tapping the base of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it's ready. If not, pop it back in the oven again for a little longer.
Allow it to cool on the rack for 30 minutes.
Enjoy your wonderful fresh bread!