If there is one thing I love, it’s carbs. I am a carbaholic and bread is my main addiction. I hope you enjoy this guest post giving you some ideas for baking your own heaven in a pan (I mean bread).
It might be one of the most basic food staples, but many accomplished cooks admit to never having baked their own bread. Not only is it relaxing to wake up in the morning light, being able to bake a loaf of bread can save you money and it fills your house with the most heavenly scent. Contrary to popular misconception, baking bread is neither elaborate nor difficult, especially if you have a bread maker. You just need a few core ingredients, and some time to master the technique.
Basic white bread
Add 400g flour, one tsp yeast from a sachet and some salt into a large bowl. Add 300 ml warm water, and stir. Leave it aside for 10 minutes, then oil your hands and knead the mix firmly for only 10 seconds. Repeat this process twice after 10 minute intervals, then leave your dough for 45 minutes to rise in the bowl. Dunk out onto a floured surface, and shape into an oblong. Sprinkle with flour, slash the top and place it in the oven on a baking tray at 220 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a fresh, aromatic loaf.
This sweet, cheap treat works equally well when served buttered, with a cup of tea, or with a warm drizzle of syrup and custard. Line a loaf tin and melt 125g butter (about half a pack), 150g sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence in a pan. Take off the heat, and mash in two or three very ripe bananas. Add one beaten egg, then mix in 190g self-raising flour and 60ml milk. Pour in the tin and bake at 170 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool, slice and enjoy!
Rapid cinnamon buns
Follow the above recipe for a basic white loaf. Combine cinnamon, a cup of sugar, a cup of butter, walnuts, chocolate chips and a good sprinkling of cinnamon in a bowl. Flatten your dough into a large rectangle, spread with butter, then the nut and cinnamon mix. Roll up into a log shape and cut into 12 equally sized pieces. Place these, spaced out, on a baking tray, and allow to raise overnight. Bake in the oven at 190 degrees, and try to avoid devouring until cool.
There are thousands of excellent bread recipes for you to try, get your hands dusty with flour and get baking!
Image by jeffreyw used under the Creative Commons license.