Comfort food: Homemade bread recipe

Get it together: 7 simple ingredients

Every great meal deserves the perfect side of fresh bread.  Whether it is part of a meal or for a quick but delightful snack, this bread recipe is a great way to curb that carb craving.

  1. 1. 1 packet (8 g/1/4 oz) dried yeast
  2. 2. 5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
  3.  500 ml (2 c) lukewarm water
  4. 750 g (3 c) bread flour (plus extra if needed)
  5. 15 ml (1 tbsp) salt
  6. Vegetable oil for greasing
  7. Beaten egg for glazing (optional)

*Makes two loaves

*Variations: Use half white and half whole wheat flour, or choose spelt or rye flour.

Comfort food: Homemade bread recipe

Mixing it up

It's time to get your hands dirty.

1. Dissolve sugar in the lukewarm water, sprinkle the yeast on top and stand for 10 minutes until frothy. Stir well.

2. Sift the flour with the salt into a large warmed mixing bowl; pour in the yeast mixture. Mix with your hands, drawing in flour little by little to make a stiff dough. Add more flour if the dough is sticky.

Time to knead

3.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, flouring your hands as necessary.

4. Work rhythmically, pushing the dough away from you, folding it back over and giving it a quarter turn each time, or knead in a mixer.

5. Knead until smooth and elastic-- the dough will have a slightly blistery surface.

The rise and fall

6. Lightly grease a clean bowl, add the dough and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap.

7. Leave in a warm place for 1 1/2 to two hours or until doubled in volume.

8. Punch down with your fist to knock out the air in the dough, then take it out of the bowl and knead well again.

It's about time to bake

9. Grease two 450 gram (one pound) loaf pans.

10. Divide the dough into two portions and roll each into a loaf shape to fit the pan.

11. Pour a little oil into a plastic bag big enough to hold one loaf, rub it around to cover the inside then put the pan inside, sealing the opening but leaving room for the bread to rise. Do the same for the second loaf.

12. Leave them to rise (proof) for about 40 minutes at room temperature.

13. Heat the oven to 230°C (450°F). Brush the risen dough with egg glaze if desired. Bake for 35 minutes.

When the bread is done, the loaves should have shrunk from the sides of the pans and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Cook for a few more minutes if necessary. Remove from the pans, place on a wire rack to cool, enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread, just don't forget to share.

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