Hello West Green!
I hope you are all staying well and safely enjoying this beautiful weather! I have been trying to make the best out of having some extra time and decided to learn something new. I found a really simple recipe for making bread and had a go…it turned out fantastic! So now I have a new routine. Each morning I get up and start my bread and as it rises (this takes about an hour) I go for my daily run. When I get back from my run the bread goes in the oven and I get to enjoy warm fresh bread with butter and jam – delicious! I thought I would share my recipe with you so you can try at home!
Step 1) Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large mixing bowl
Step 2) Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is foamy – mine took much longer than 5 minutes because it was chilly in my kitchen!
Step 3) Add salt and flour to the bowl. Add the flour a little at a time and mix with a sturdy spatula until all flour is incorporated and the dough has just started to pull away from the sides of the bowl. For best results, mix until no dry bits of flour remain. This is a relatively slack (wet) dough, so it may seem a bit shaggy and sticky at this point. Don’t worry – it will become more smooth and elastic as we go!
Step 4) Lightly flour all sides of your dough (don’t mix the flour in – it’s just to keep the dough from sticking!) and turn it over inside the mixing bowl to coat with flour on all sides. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise on the counter for about 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size. – My dough doesn’t always quite double in size but it still works!
Step 5) When dough has risen, lightly flour a large cutting board. Tip the dough out of the bowl and onto the cutting board. Don’t be tempted to push it down– you want to keep all those nice air bubbles intact so you have an airy, delicious loaf of bread. (If the dough is sticking to the bowl a little bit, wet your hand with a bit of cold water and gently separate the dough from the bowl to get it all out).
Step 6) Sprinkle a bit of flour across the top of the dough, then begin shaping it into a round loaf. Pull each corner of the dough in towards the center (like you’re folding an envelope) and repeat until the dough feels tight and begins to resist your folds. Flip the dough over and tap it into a round loaf. Watch the video below to see exactly how we do this!
Step 7) Flour a medium bowl and place your loaf into it seam-side down. Cover with a tea towel and let rise another 30 minutes or so while you preheat the oven.
Step 8) While bread is rising, place an empty dutch oven (with the lid on) in your oven and heat to 230 degrees celsius
Step 9) When the oven is hot, you’re ready to go! Use oven mitts to pull the dutch oven out and remove the lid- then take your bread dough and pop it into the pot seam side up – you definitely need a grown up to do this bit!
Step 10) Cook the bread for 30 minutes with the lid on. After 30 minutes take the lid off and cook for another 10-20 minutes.
If you have a go please send me a picture of your bread to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you have any ideas for what I should cook next! – Miss. S
Here is a video that might help! Scroll down and look for Video 2 – https://www.lifeasastrawberry.com/easy-crusty-french-bread/#anchor?jwsource=cl