Making it from scratch: Bread two ways

I love making bread.  It's so simple.  SO simple and so satisfying, pounding into that dough.  And the smell that fills the kitchen is too too good.  Plus, you know exactly what does in it, so you can keep out any nasties.  Finally, it tastes pretty damn fine as well.

Little Miss O and I tried two new flavours - oats and sunflower seeds and basil, parmesan and olive.

Basic bread recipe:

3 cups of warm water.
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
7 cups (give or take depending on your flour choice, so start with 6 and if it's too sticky, just keep adding a little bit at a time til you get a good doughy consistency)of flour.  We used 1/2 wholemeal organic spelt and 1/2 organic plain white.

To the 3 cups of warm water add the sugar and dissolve it.  Add the yeast and whisk then let it sit for five or so minutes until it froths up.  Add the flour, stopping at 6 and then adding small bits until you get the right doughy consistency - not too sticky and not so dry that it breaks into little bits.  You may need more than 7 cups.

After you have made the dough, separate it in half and add:

For basil, olive and parmesan bread;

1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup finely sliced olives
1/2 cup torn basil leaves

For sunflower seed and oat bread;

1/4 cup porridge oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Mix these in the during the first kneading period (of 5 - 10 minutes), folding them into the dough as you go.

Put the dough in separate clean bowls and cover with tea towels, pegged at the ends.  Leave in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Then punch the dough down, knead it again for five minutes or so and place in two greased loaf tins.  Again, cover with the pegged tea towels and leave for an hour or until it has doubled size.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and cook them for 35 minutes or until they sound hollow when you tap the top.

Wait til they cool a bit before you tip them out and then let them cool further before slicing.  It is of course, perfectly acceptable to take a crust of still warm bread, butter it and enjoy.  YUM.  These freeze well and are especially good for toast.


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