bread making

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For me bread making is one of the most satisfying of downshifting practices, cheap and easy and so rewarding. Apart from the baking the preperation takes no longer than a trip to the local shop, where the choice of loaves is a sorry sight. There is nothing like pulling out a hot loaf from the oven, as you can tell I love to make bread.

Here is a recipe for a standard wholemeal loaf.

1kg wholemeal flour
28g salt
packet of dried yeast
2 tea spoons brown sugar
750ml warm water

Place the warm water into a mixing bowl and add the yeast and leave untill you see it start to develop tiny bubbles, this takes about 5 – 10 mins depending on the temperature of the room.

While you are waiting in a measuring bowl measure out all the other ingredients.

Then it’s the fun part when the yeast is ready add the flour etc to the mixing bowl and get your hands in mixing it up, when it starts to bind together tip it out onto a floured serface and knead it, which means fold it and squash it for about 5 mins.

Place back in the bowl cover with a damp tea towel place in a warm place and wait untill it has doubled in size, this can take a while. When its double the size knead again then seperate into two equal pieces and place each one into a greased bread tray. Cover with the tea towel again and leave to rise.

When it’s double the size again place into a pre heated oven at 200 oC for about 30 mins, but you can keep checking after 15 mins. When it looks ready take one out turn it over and tap the bottom, if it sounds hollow it’s ready.

Leave to cool, then eat. Your first loaf will be gone in about half an hour!

Now this will get you started, however I don’t stick to this. I never measure anything any more. If it’s your first time try halfing the wholemeal flour with plain flour, as this will mean it is certain to rise fully, when you have done it a few times you will get a feel for it. You can use fresh yeast which I get free from Asda, in which case you need a piece about the size of a stock cube.

I often add pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds and a good glug of olive oil. but I could not tell you how much, just experiment.


11 thoughts on “bread making

  1. Mel says:

    MMmmm, looks great. I’ll have mine still warm, with mascarpone cheese and honey.

  2. Tom says:

    You’ve got to get into sourdough – so much more interesting than working with the commercial yeast. I make a couple of loaves most weeks from my own home-grown starter. Takes a bit of getting used to but very satisfying when you get it right.

    Hi, by the way. You’re much less comedic on here that in real life, but very interesting nonetheless. 🙂

  3. dibnah says:

    Sorry about that Tom, I’ll have to make my posts more comical, I spend too much time trying to get the spelling correct!

  4. Rachel says:

    Hi Dibnah, your bread looks great! Do you ever freeze it? I’ve often thought about making several loaves and shoving them in the freezer, but I’m not sure that it would freeze too well..

  5. dibnah says:

    Yes I always freeze it I try and make between 2 and 4 loafs as for a family of five they don’t last long, I think they are fine when frozen but I have never had them in there very long. It also does not dry out as quick as shop bought bread.

  6. mooominmama says:

    hello, that looks delicious, but please tell me, how do you get free yeast from asda?

  7. dibnah says:

    If you go to the bakery section and just ask for it, possibly other supermarkets do it too.

  8. liz says:

    re: free yeast, some supermarkets charge, some don’t, you just have to ask around. I make my own bread most of the time, i do a mix of (usually) 1 and a 1/4 lbs of white to 3/4 lb of stoneground (i make 2 1lb loaves at a time) and i chuck in an extra 3 tbs of bran. I also pop in seeds, as you do, although i also add linseed and sesame seed for roughage (although if you want the omega 3/6 benefits from linseed it has to be ground and eaten fresh i think). the mix of white and stoneground makes *fantastic* toast – its a recipe handed down from my grandfather, who, every second morning, would get up at the crack of dawn, and make bread – and he did this from when he retired (possibly earlier) to when he died at the age of 94. Most of what i know and am starting to put into practice (slowly) about green/sustainable living i actually learned as a child from my grandparents!

    anyway, great blog, and i for one will keep reading!! thanks for writing!

  9. dibnah says:

    thanks for the comment

    I think alot of what I know I have gatherd as much from family members and friend as books or the internet, even though they themselves do not see themselves as self-sufficient.

  10. anonymous says:

    2.8grams/100grams of salt! That’s seriously high. 😦 I just came here after reading while doing a search for wholemeal bread recipes, so it’s something you might want to be aware of.

  11. dibnah says:

    Yes you are right I just tend to add a pinch. I’ll try it next time with no salt and see what happens.

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