Teach me how to bake a loaf of bread

How to bake a loaf of bread
‘Teach me how’ is a series that encourages the clever clogs wearers of the world to show us less clever types how to do the things we’ve always wanted to do. Darling Bele from Blah Blah Magazine was actually the inspiration behind the whole series. She emailed to tell me that bread wasn’t as hard to bake as I thought. Lightbulb moment there for me… “Teach me!” I demanded. And so she did…

After reading this gorgeous post of Bron’s I felt the need to let her in on a dirty little secret, namely the lazy bread recipe I started making because I couldn’t be bothered to go to the shops for Vegemite toast requirements.
Speaking of Vegemite, my husband and I are having a, ahem, debate about the quantity of Vegemite we put on our children’s toast. Apparently, our children won’t know they’re Australian with this amount of Vegemite…
I’d love to tell you that I’m confusing my children even more by serving Vegemite on traditional French style bread, but it’s not. This bread is way too easy to make for any French baker to associate with. All up, it takes me four minutes of hard labour, the rest of the time I leave it to do its thing.
But why?
 
Ah, the smell of bread straight out of the oven and melted butter on fresh slices. The only problem is I feel like I’m cheating and wronging our ex-flatmate (a French baker) with this recipe, after he was so good to us. You see, he brought home his artisanal bread for our breakfast after slaving through the night to make the perfect loaf. It was a hard time for me…
While chomping on warm bread, we discussed some of the peculiarities of the modern bread industry, namely what factory bakeries put into bread. It can be quite a strange concoction.
Sadly, without our daily bread deliveries we can’t carry on with the fancy baker loaves. They’re exy and I have important antique tea cups to buy. But what are the options? I was going to buy a breadmaker, but I have an allergic reaction to extra kitchen appliances. The answer, of course, was found on Pinterest. This lovely recipe. The little loaf may have lasted one second in this household, but it was a really, really tasty one second.
If you get right into this, you’ll find most supermarkets sell 5 kilo bags of multi-grain bread flour. It’s usually hidden on a bottom shelf in the baking section. It ends up about $1.50 a loaf. We’ve gone completely gung-ho and have ordered 25 kilo bags delivered from the supplier.
Maybe one day, I’ll have a go at making sourdough yeast, but I worry if I mess with the system I won’t get around to doing it all.

 

Homemade bread that looks like you’ve gone to a lot of effort

 
Ingredients 
6 cups multi-grain plain flour (or throw your favourite seeds into wholemeal or white flour)
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons dried yeast
3 cups warm water
Spoon or whisk
Bowl or mixer
Baking paper
Tongs
Oven-friendly pot with lid, preferably cast iron

Method,  not madness

1. To minimise mess, put bowl in the sink before pouring in the ingredients. Mix the ingredients together until really well combined. I’m so lazy I usually do this in my mixer, but, dear reader, I wanted to show you that you don’t even need one.
2. Cover with a tea towel or cling film.
3. Leave to puff up for 3-12 hours (if leaving for longer than 4 hours cover with cling film to stop it drying out).
4. Preheat oven to 230°C with pot and lid inside for 30 minutes, when ready take pot out and proceed with extreme caution and serious oven mitts. Drop a square of baking paper into the bottom of the pot and push into place with tongs (wetting and scrunching the baking paper first can make this easier).
6. Pour dough mix into pot. If you want to get fancy, you can cut a cross into the top with a knife.
7. Bake in oven with lid on for 30 minutes.
8. Take lid off and bake for 15 minutes more.
9. Take bread out of pot to cool.

Add this recipe to your Yummly feed: Yum

So, I need to know how much Vegemite folks are putting on their bread? Is there a national standard for Vegemite application that I’ve missed all these years?
And are you already a bread baker? How do you do it? Should I be brave and get my sourdough on?

Click for more good food kids like to eat

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