Put away your bread makers, get your hands dirty and have some real fun!!
I decided to make some bread tonight, it was quite successful. Many people have asked me for the recipe so I have just put together something quickly.
Preparation time: 3-4 hours
Cooking time: Approximately 35 minutes
1 x 500 g fine Italian "OO" flour (comes in 1000g pack)
1 x 5 g dry yeast (Tandaco - 7g per sachet, so 1 sachet)
1 and 1/2 cups of tepid water
1 x tablespoon of honey or sugar
1 x teaspoon of olive oil
A pinch of salt
1 x egg
1. Make sure you have plenty of room to work on, kitchen bench is always a good idea. Pour the flour over clean surface, create a circle in the middle with the flour, almost like a volcano.
2. Add 1/2 cup of tepid water, sachet of yeast, stir slowly in with a fork. Add the honey/ sugar at the same time. Let it stand for a couple of minutes to dissolve the yeast. Continue stirring whilst adding the rest of the water, add the pinch of salt and oil. If you keep it in a circle, water shouldn't run off the bench.
3. Knead slowly for approximately 10 minutes or until it turns into a nice ball. You can add in herbs at this stage if you prefer. Keep kneading.
4. Put the ball of dough into a big bowl and cover it with a damp cloth to allow the dough to rise to double its size at room temperature. Although I put mine in the oven whilst its off.
5. After 45 minutes, check that the dough has risen. Sprinkle your bench top with a little flour. Kneed the dough again for another 5 minutes bringing it back into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 250 °C.
7. Kneed again, but this time roll the dough out into three long skinny rolls. Yes you are about to braid the dough.
8. Line some baking paper on a tray, spray lightly with oil. Spread the three equal long rolls of dough onto the tray (like a arrow facing up), with the rolls on baking paper, hold up the left roll on your left hand, the right roll on your right hand, close to the palm and the middle roll between two fingers of your right hand. Cross the left roll over the middle roll, switching it from your left to your right hand, then cross the right roll over the new middle roll, switching it from your right to your left hand and so on. Joining the ends to a circle. Braid loosely. If you have left over dough, turn them into dinner rolls.
9. Let this sit at room temperature for another 10 minutes.
10. Prepare poppy seeds, sesames seeds, sunflower seeds or which ever you prefer to sprinkle on top.
11. Beat an egg, brush the egg on top of the dough thinly, this would give it the golden colour. Get a knife and make a few shallow cuts and sprinkle your favourite seeds on top.
12. Put in oven for 35 minutes.
13. Check after 35 minutes.
You will know the bread is ready when you tap the bottom of the bread and you hear hollow sounds.
Making bread is as easy as one, two, three. Put some TLC in it, and you can turn something simple to something really amazing. Enjoy baking!!