Monday, 19 October 2015

Just a loaf of bread: part 1 - intro

Borrowed from Google Images.
They call it the staff of life and there's no doubt that for most of us bread is a staple in our diet. It may take some time to make from beginning to end but it is a doddle, there's no mystique about it at all, it's a very forgiving and friendly process.  The result of your baking is delicious, filling and adaptable and it can be used in so many different ways. There are recipes galore out there.

What's not to like, eh?

As regular readers know, I make my own bread and over time have developed my own recipe system which I'd like to share with you.
 I make my bread in small, 1 lb loaf tins because there's just one person in this house - me.  Bigger loaves go stale before I can finish them.  Therefore I think in units - one unit is one loaf.  I rarely make just one loaf: for a start turning on the oven for one loaf is a bit wasteful although I could use my halogen oven, I suppose.
Generally, I make three or four loaf batches, depending on circumstances.

All you need to make a loaf is flour, yeast, salt and water.  On their own, they make a perfectly decent offering.  I add a few other bits and pieces - sugar, milk powder and oil - because I like the loaf they produce but they are not strictly speaking necessary.  Sugar adds a bit to the flavour and helps the yeast, oil makes for a more pliable dough and adds to the keeping properties of the loaf and dried milk powder makes for a nice soft crumb.

So - the next three or four entries are about me and my bread.  It was going to be just one entry but it ended up so long that I have split it!  I hope it is helpful.

Part 2: ingredients
Part 3: equipment
Part 4: my recipe

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