I like making bread. Not only is it tasty cheap food, it also makes the house smell nice and is a great way to unwind after a stressful day in front of the computer. Here's how I do it.
First of all, I cheat. I get a packet of ready-mixed flour and yeast from the supermarket, in this case made by Wrights. I could go the whole hog and buy yeast and flour and mix them myself, and I will one day. But at the moment, I cheat.
Pour the mixture into a food processor (err, more cheating...)
Then add 11 fluid ounces of warm water
... and mix thoroughly for a couple of minutes
Pour the resulting sticky dough on to a floured surface and leave it for five minutes to settle
Then give it a good hard kneading for two or three minutes - don't be shy, give it some welly
It's a good idea to put the mixing bowl in some hot water as soon as you've finished with it, as that will make it easy to wash up later
Leave the kneaded dough for another five minutes or so
While it's standing, prepare a loaf tin by smearing the inside with some margarine or butter. Go on, get your fingers dirty
Put the ball of dough into the tin
... and sprinkle some more flour onto the top
Now dampen two sheets of kitchen paper under the hot tap
... and drape the paper over the loaf tin, before leaving it to rise in a nice warm spot - such as above the fire - for about 30 minutes
After 20 minutes has passed, light the oven at gas mark 8
... and after 10 more minutes, check the dough to make sure that it has roughly doubled in size
Score some lines across the top with a sharp knife. This isn't vital, but it can make the finished loaf look prettier
Then chuck the dough into the hot oven
Half an hour later, it will be cooked. By this time, the house will smell delicious
Turn the loaf out on to a wire rack (this helps it cool out evenly, and stops the base going soggy)
Smugly stand back and admire your work for 10 minutes or so, while the bread cools
Slice, spread with Marmite, and relax with a nice cup of tea. Smashing.
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