Monday, 4 August 2014

The Perfect Loaf

Ode to the smell of freshly baking bread, the aroma wafting out of thy (that was not a typo) kitchen and to thy soul!

(I think I'll stop being dramatic now...)

Back to the loaf. The staple of the universe. Well, the staple of America, for that matter...

The shmancy first paragraph of this dedicated post (I'm doing it again!) basically tells you that a good, warm loaf of homemade bread can beat that stale, tasteless hunk of flour and water from the grocery store, no matter what flavor. As long as you have a good recipe, nothing stands between you and a crusty warm loaf of bread.

I'd especially like to say this to my friend Anusha: if you could make those awesomely chewy brownie-cookies, then I bet you could make a perfect loaf, too. Please try this recipe! (But use Saif-Lev├╝re yeast that comes in a small tin, for all of you in Pakistan! The yeast in the cardboard box never works!)

If only you could smell this!

The Perfect Loaf

1 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups flour
(See? Just a handful of ingredients!)

In a large mug or small bowl, combine the first four ingredients and stir well. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes until puffy.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and oil. Add in the yeast mixture and stir to form a shaggy dough. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth, then place in a well oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for about an hour until doubled in size.

Once risen, gently flatten the dough and press into a well oiled loaf tin. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, 180°C.

Pop the dough into the oven gently, without deflating the loaf. Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and when you tap the top, it sounds hollow.

Take it out of the oven and remove from the pan. Let cool completely, then brush with butter before cutting snd serving.


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