Friday, 28 April 2017


“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” - Mahatma Gandhi 

Nothing better on a cold wet day like fresh, crusty bread well-baked from scratch in the oven. Fortunately, the easy recipe we have allows this indulgence. We have never invested in a bread making machine and probably this is wise given the number of people that have and rarely use them. I have seen countless such machines being sold for peanuts in garage sales...

 Easy Bread

Shortening or oil, for greasing and brushing
250g plain white flour
250g plain wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp ground cardamon seed
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp ground dry mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
175ml lukewarm water
100 ml lukewarm milk
1/2 cup olive oil
Extra water, for brushing
1 tsp nigella seeds, for sprinkling (optional)

Brush a 10 x 20cm loaf pan with the shortening to lightly grease. Measure all your ingredients.
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water and stir to mix. Add the milk and stir well.
Place the flour, herbs and spices 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.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball. Brush a large bowl with the shortening or oil 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.
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.
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.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
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.
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.
Turn the loaf immediately onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
Once cool, store the loaf in a well-ventilated place at room temperature.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme.

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