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
• 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
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.