Giles makes bread

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.
Take some bread mix

Pour the mixture into a food processor (err, more cheating...)
Pour into food processor

Then add 11 fluid ounces of warm water
Add warm water

... and mix thoroughly for a couple of minutes
and mix

Pour the resulting sticky dough on to a floured surface and leave it for five minutes to settle
Pour out dough

Then give it a good hard kneading for two or three minutes - don't be shy, give it some welly
Knead it well

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
Put mixing bowl in hot water

Leave the kneaded dough for another five minutes or so
Leave to stand for 5 mins

While it's standing, prepare a loaf tin by smearing the inside with some margarine or butter. Go on, get your fingers dirty
Line loaf tin with marg

Put the ball of dough into the tin
Place dough in tin

... and sprinkle some more flour onto the top
Sprinkle flour over it

Now dampen two sheets of kitchen paper under the hot tap
Damp some kitchen paper

... 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
Pour into food processor

After 20 minutes has passed, light the oven at gas mark 8
Light oven at gas 8

... and after 10 more minutes, check the dough to make sure that it has roughly doubled in size
Wait for dough to double

Score some lines across the top with a sharp knife. This isn't vital, but it can make the finished loaf look prettier
Score lines across

Then chuck the dough into the hot oven
Place in oven

Half an hour later, it will be cooked. By this time, the house will smell delicious
Remove from oven after 30 mins

Turn the loaf out on to a wire rack (this helps it cool out evenly, and stops the base going soggy)
Turn out on to wire rack

Smugly stand back and admire your work for 10 minutes or so, while the bread cools
Cor, look at that

Slice, spread with Marmite, and relax with a nice cup of tea. Smashing.
Mmmmmm bread

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