I have returned to twitter now after about 2 years, I’m very funny so follow me @jes_sca.
Came home from a night out to find this little dialogue. Oh the communication of the metropolitan 21st century family.
In other news, I think I’ve cracked bread-making.
As some who read this may know, bread-making is not my strength. I don’t know why either. You’d think my excellent pizza dough making skills would make me apt at making bread. WELL NO. Something happened between the 18th and 21st century that made the common person unable to make bread with their hands, do you know what we historians call it? THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.Thanks to technology, hands and elbow grease are no longer a pre-requisite for bread-making. We have bicarb, baking powder, bread-makers, Hovis etc. However, I am a die-hard, and I just WANT TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE GODDAMN BREAD BY MYSELF.
I succeeded one time, but I’m sure that was a fluke. I think my problem is that I don’t use enough yeast, especially when I use wholemeal flour. So this time I used 2 sachets of dried yeast, and I think that may have led to a successful loaf.
Not happy with the ordinary ‘white loaf’, I obviously had to jazz my bread up a bit. I’ve previously used mustard, but this time I chose onions, they’re cheap and make everything better. Their softness is ideal, as they make sure the centre of the loaf is moist. This bread, as you can see, is quite dense but extremely soft and not tough at all.
I always forget, however, that when I don’t wear my contact lenses that my eyes STREAM. I always gloat: “Ohhhhh I’ve cut so many onions that they don’t make my eyes water anymore”, but secretly it’s just down to my contact lenses being a barrier between me and the onion fumes. Note to self: always wear lenses when chopping onions.
PLEASE don’t be daunted by these instructions, I’ve only given a lot because I want to make it as easy as possible, most of it is common sense.
-1x red onion chopped
-1x white onion chopped
-3x cloves of garlic chopped
-1 tbsp butter/olive oil
-1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-4 cups of flour, plus extra for dusting
-1 tsp salt
-250-300ml warm water
-2x 7g sachet of dried yeast
-3 tsp dried rosemary
-Melt your butter in a frying pan, or heat the olive oil. Once melted add the onions and garlic with the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt to stop sticking. Keep an eye on the onions, stirring from time to time. You want them to soften up. Add a bit more balsamic if they’re burning to make sure they don’t get all crispy. This will take about 10-12 minutes.
-While the onions are cooking, dissolve the yeast in the water, stir with a fork and set aside.
-In a large mixing bowl, mix together the salt, flour, rosemary and some pepper.
-Once the onions are cooked, add to the flour mixture and add some of the yeast water. With a fork, mix the mixture, adding a bit more water in order to make it come together.
-Eventually your fork will prove useless and you’ll need to get your hands a bit sticky and messy (so make sure they’re washed before hand). At this point, liberally flour a surface and turn out the mixture onto it, and knead the mixture, for kneading advice go here. The flour should be quite sticky, but SHOULD NOT get stuck to your hands.
-If you’re having some trouble, here are two common problems and how to solve them:
- The dough keeps on falling apart and not keeping together. Add a splash more water but not a lot. Keep on working the mixture through so that water can get to all areas, you’ll find the more you knead the more moist the dough becomes.
- The dough is extremely sticky and I can’t really do anything because my hands are too clogged up. In this case you need to add more flour, don’t worry this happens a lot to me. As said above, keep on working the flour through the mixture, the more you knead the more the flour can access the whole dough mixture and it will become more consistent.
-Okay, so knead the dough for about 10 minutes. As stressed, the dough should be sticky to touch. Place it in a floured bowl, cover with a dish cloth/cling film and leave to rise for 2 hours in a warm place (next to the boiler or a radiator).
-After two hours, the dough should have doubled in size. Turn it out onto a floured surface and deflate with your hand. Knead a tiny bit more, you will need a bit of flour if it has become sticky again, then return to the bowl and leave for about another hour.
-Pre-heat oven to 200 c. Once hot, turn out your dough again, knead it a bit and then shape it into a loaf shape. Place on a greased baking tray and brush with egg-white to give it a brown colour(optional). It took my loaf about an 1 hour and a half, but it might take quicker for you, so keep an eye. You might need to cover with foil halfway through so the top doesn’t burn. The bread is ready when you hear a hollow sound when you tap the bottom of the loaf.