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The Big Zeroes

watch us go from zeroes to heroes

This one is a bit of a cheat because I already make my own bread – I guess I mean that I want to keep on doing it. It’s so easy to buy bread, but making it yourself is really satisfying and it tastes better.

There are some things I wish I had started doing earlier, but didn’t because they seem so difficult. Baking bread in one of them. I realise now that it isn’t the process that’s difficult, but the waiting for the mixture to ‘prove’. Instead of telling you about that, I’ll give you the recipe and the method so that you can do it too.

Ingredients (cups being American measuring cups).

One cup of warm water

Half a cup of skimmed milk

Three tablespoons of sugar

Two tablespoons of olive oil

Two teaspoons of salt

Four cups of strong bread flour

I packet of dried yeast

Put all the ingredients into a big mixing bowl.

Mix together until they form a firm dough. Knead for about five minutes.Cover the dough in the bowl with clingfilm or a tea towel and leave in a warm place for two hours, I leave my bowl on top of a radiator or on top of the cooker when the oven is on.

By this time the dough will have risen. Take it out and knead it again for about two minutes. I tend to stretch it and fold it over and into itself. Other people have told me that they knead with their knuckles. Leave in a warm place for another half an hour.

Take the dough and place on a baking tray in the shape you want it to be, bearing in mind it will rise slightly in the oven. Put in the oven, gas mark six, for thirty to forty minutes.

You’ll know it’s done when it’s brown and when you tap it, it sounds hollow.  I like to check it, tap it, then turn the oven off and leave it inside for a while just to make sure the inside is perfectly dry.

Baking bread touches something primal inside me. I used to have a breadmaker, but it’s very satisfying to work on your own bread. I make this bread tonight and it makes me feel happy and content.

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