From the smell of it baking to having a slice while it’s still warm from the oven, there’s a unique joy in fresh bread that can’t be beaten. The bakery’s aromas are what draws us to that part of the supermarket. But, then we buy the pre-sliced stuff. Why?!
Making your own bread is surprisingly simple. It uses ingredients that are easy to get your hands on, requires no equipment, and doesn’t even need you to be a skilled baker. In fact, someone who’s never made anything before could probably successfully tackle a loaf of bread. Plus, if the average white sliced loaf from a leading brand costs £1.10, making your own is a cheaper way to get your hands on something better, too.
Try our recipe and learn how to make bread that’s better and cheaper than the supermarket alternative!
How to make a simple loaf of bread for less than £1*
What you’ll need
500g strong white bread flour
2 teaspoons of salt
A 7g sachet of fast-action yeast
3 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil, plus extra for kneading (optional)
300ml lukewarm water
1 teaspoon of sugar
How to make it
First, grab a measuring jug and fill it with 300ml (half a pint) of lukewarm water. Water that you’ve boiled in the kettle and left to cool is best for this. Add the sachet of yeast and a teaspoon of sugar to the jug. Stir until the yeast and sugar has dissolved, then set aside for 10-15 minutes. The mixture should be frothy, but don’t worry if it isn’t.
Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. With your hand, make a well in the centre and add the three tablespoons of olive oil. When the yeast mixture is ready, add this, too. Mix well. If the dough seems a bit stiff or not all of the flour is mixed in, add another 1-2 tablespoons of water and keep mixing.
When you’re ready, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Rub a little olive oil on your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you, and knead for around 10 minutes. The best technique when you’re kneading is to use the heel of your hand to push into the bread, then pull it back on itself using your fingers. When you’re done you should have a satin-smooth, springy dough.
In another mixing bowl (or the one you used before, washed and dried), lightly oil the sides and then pop your dough in. Cover it with cling film. Leave the bowl somewhere warm – like on a sunny windowsill – for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Alternatively, you can keep it in the fridge overnight.
Top tip: If you follow the instructions this far, you can make homemade pizzas with your dough! Instead of giving the dough a second prove, knock the air out then stretch it by hand or roll it flat before you add toppings and pop it straight into the oven.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Or, if you’d rather bake your loaf in a tin, line your tin with greaseproof paper instead.
Once the dough is big enough, scrape it out of the bowl onto the worktop and “knock back” the dough – this is punching the air out and pulling the dough in on itself. Gently mold the dough into a ball or oval – whatever your desired loaf shape! You could even make rolls by breaking your dough up into smaller balls or ovals. Place the loaf on the baking tray or in the tin, and leave it in that warm spot for another hour until it’s doubled in size again.
When ready, heat the oven to 220 degrees celcius, or in a fan-assisted oven, 200 degrees. Bake your loaf for 25-30 minutes until it’s golden brown and when you tap it underneath, it sounds hollow.
Cool on a wire rack.
*For our pricing, we assumed that you’d only need to buy the flour and yeast as oil, sugar and salt are store cupboard staples. We used Asda’s own brand bread flour at 69p for 1.5kg, and Allinson’s “easy bake” yeast at 29p for two sachets. So, in fact, you’d be able to make two loaves for 97p!
Originally posted on 25th February 2019 @ 11:54 am