Friday, 9 October 2015

Food Waste Week (bread): Lazy Everyday Yeast Bread

Apologies for disappearing with my bread recipes on my self-declared food waste week.  Family circumstance saw it put on the back burner.  However, we are back and ready to retackle wasted bread products!

First of all: making the bread itself.  I touched on a thought of mine in my last post regarding wasted bread: perhaps when it is not the product of someone's own effort and time, the small cost of the waste from a mass-produced loaf might seem less significant at that moment it is tossed in the bin - and I speak for myself here. Homemade bread is tastier however and so is less likely to be left languishing in the cupboard but it is also cheaper than bought stuff.  You can use cheaper plain flour and more expensive bread flour in any ratio you like, bearing in mind that the plain flour gives a slightly cakier texture if still a very decent loaf.

I find that if I want to make bread without any added sugar at all, this is best achieved by using a packet of fast action yeast rather than the cheaper dried yeast; skip the frothing stage and mix it straight into the flour with the liquid then leave to rise until double - this will take a bit longer than it would with added sugar as the yeast has not been given an energy boost. More often though, I use the cheaper dried stuff.

I am quite a lazy person and so I discovered that rather than leaving the dough to rise a second time - the proving stage, that is - if I do not preheat the oven but set the oven at temperature and pop the bread in the oven straight away, then the oven heating up gives a speed-boost to the rise.  And when it comes to kneading, well I am often known to give it more like 2-3 minutes, and things still work out alright - basically, once the dough loses stickiness and becomes smooth, it will be ok.

This dough is what I use for pretty much any bread product: pizzas, flatbreads and rolls all turn out great with this recipe.

This is what I usually do:

600g flour
1-2 tsp table salt, depending on preference (I prefer the bread with 2tsp, but am aware too much salt is not a great idea for health)
300ml hand-hot water
A pinch of sugar
1 tbsp. dried yeast

Mix the salt into the flour.  Mix the sugar into the water then sprinkle the yeast on top; this will take 10 minutes to froth.  Once frothed up, pour the liquid into the flour and mix well.  Knead for 5-10 minutes as inclination dictates. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm draught-free place for around an hour.  Shape on a greased and floured baking tray or in a loaf tin treated in the same way.  Pop into an oven, then set your temperature to 200C and bake for 40 minutes.  Check it is done by tapping the bottom and if you hear a hollow sound then it is ready - if not, pop it back in for 5mins and try again.

Do you have any tips for making the everyday loaf?

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