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Author Notes: All our lives we've been lazy about the food that we eat. We haven't paid enough attention to what we put in our bodies. Don't get me wrong, we are not unhealthy eaters, we try and eat fresh meat and vegetables every day, and we cook home-made meals most of the time. But it's only recently that we really started putting more effort into carefully watching what ingredients we use (organic/ natural/dairy or gluten free), reading the ingredients lists in products we buy in the supermarket, and researching health benefits of certain products. This change in our diet is mostly due to not being happy in aspects of our health, such as feeling bloated or tired, or dealing with bad skin. Anyway, isn't that why most people end up changing their diets!!? Interestingly, our home baked bread is one of the few breads that Simon can eat without feeling massively bloated.
We're sick of seeing the majority of food sold in our standard supermarket riddled with unnecessary salt or sugar- even the products labelled as so-called health foods, including bread. So, we've finally put the effort in to baking fresh bread every week or two weeks. Why not, it's so damn easy. For us it's worth it if it means we skip consuming the hidden sugar, salt and calories in store bought bread. We may be thankful in the long run.
Home baked bread doesn't tend to last quite as long as some store bought breads. So pop a loaf in the freezer and take it out a few hours before eating and it will skip you having to bake too often.
This is a recipe for home baked bread, in 5 easy steps.. Make it in the morning on a weekend and by the afternoon you will have two wonderful loaves. This particular recipe makes two loaves, and you can use any flour you want (I used Wrights half wholewheat and half strong white flour). —Art Of The Designed Life
Makes 2 loaves
- 1 kilogram strong wholewheat, granary, or strong white bread flour, or a mix
- 2 packets or 14g of fast-action dried yeast, I used Hovis Fast Action Bread Yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons organic honey or pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Add the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix together with your hands. Alternatively, add these ingredients to your K-Mix bowl or Kitchen Aid.
- Mix 600ml bath temperature water with the oil and honey or maple syrup, then slowly add into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough. If you have a machine, use the knead setting, and add the wet ingredients slowly to the bowl while it's mixing.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling more flour if you need it. Alternatively, leave the machine to knead for 10 minutes.
- Oil 2 x loaf tins, cut the dough ball in half, shape, and put the dough evenly in the tins. Throw a kitchen towel over the tins and place them in an air-tight room. No windows open, or the dough will struggle to rise! Leave for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Make a few cuts across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, then bake for 30-35 mins until the loaf is risen and golden. Tip it out and leave to cool.
More Great Recipes: Bread, Rolls & Muffins