“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” - Ursula K. LeGuin
In cold autumn or winter, when the days are short and rain maybe is falling, there is nothing better than freshly-baked bread straight out of the oven to fill the warm kitchen with its delicious smell and to have for brunch with lashings of molten butter. The following recipe is fairly simple and easy, making a tasty loaf of bread.
• Melted butter, for greasing and brushing
• 250g plain white flour
• 250g plain wholemeal flour
• ½ tsp ground cardamon seed
• 2 tsp (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1.5 tsp salt
• 175ml lukewarm water
• 100 ml lukewarm milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• Extra water, for brushing
• 1 tsp nigella seeds, for sprinkling (optional)
1. Brush a 10 x 20cm loaf pan with the melted butter to lightly grease. Measure all your ingredients.
2. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water and stir to mix. Add the milk and stir well.
3. Place the flour, cardamon and salt in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the water/milk/yeast mixture and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
5. Shape the dough into a ball. Brush a large bowl with the melted butter to grease. Place the dough into the bowl and turn it over to lightly coat the dough surface with the butter. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and then place it in a warm, draught-free place to allow the dough to rise.
6. Leave the dough to prove until it is double its size, between 45-75 minutes at 30˚C. When the dough is ready, it will retain a finger imprint when lightly pressed.
7. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down in the centre with your fist and knead on a lightly floured surface again for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic and returned to its original size.
8. Preheat oven to 200°C.
9. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape each into a smooth round. Place the portions of dough side by side in the greased loaf pan. Brush lightly with the melted butter. Stand the pan in a warm, draught-free place, as before, for about 30 minutes or until the dough has risen about 1cm about the top of the pan.
10. Gently brush the loaf with a little water and then sprinkle with the nigella seeds if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
11. Turn the loaf immediately onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
12. Once cool, store the loaf in a well-ventilated place at room temperature.
This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.