I will be honest, there are days when I wonder if all the effort I put into my blog is worth it. Then there are days when I am so proud that it makes all the hard work SO worth it. Like today. I am now an official Huffington Post Contributor. How cool is that? For me, seeing the name Huffington Post on anything validates it; I’ve always thought of their articles as being authentic, reliable and quality. Now you see why I am excited?!
My first Huffington Post article is about making bread. I know many people are a little nervous about trying to make their own homemade bread, and thought I would show people how I do it.
Today’s recipe is featured in the article, and it is for a simple, white loaf bread. Nothing tastes quite like homemade bread and this one is so soft, making it perfect for bacon sandwiches, or sliced up for toast with a spot of jam on top. Even better is that it takes only minutes to prepare!
Simple White Loaf Bread (and Some Exciting News)
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water
25g fresh yeast - see notes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-2½ cups (300-400g) bread flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
I use fresh yeast in my bread. This handy converter should help you if you are using dried.
~ Gently heat the milk until it is lukewarm and add in the water. Sprinkle in the yeast and sugar, stir until everything is well combined and then leave it in a warm place to activate (if using dried yeast, refer to the packet for instructions as to when/where to add the yeast).
~ Add the oil to the yeast mixture and give it a good stir. In a large bowl, mix only 300g of the flour with the salt and add the liquid. Quickly stir (you don’t need to be overly gentle) until you are left with a sticky dough.
~ Turn out onto a well-floured surface and then pour a little more flour on top. Slowly fold the bread over to incorporate the flour until you have a dough that can be worked. Add flour as and when needed, and continue to knead until the dough is soft and very pliable.
~ Place back in the bowl, cover, and leave to proof for between one and two hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
~ Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375ºF) and oil a small loaf tin. Knock back the dough and then form into the rough shape of the pan you are using. Cover once more and again leave to proof for around 45 minutes, just until the dough is rising above the top of the tin.
~ Bake for around 25 minutes, until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Leave in the pan for around ten minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.