Living a little bit rurally where we do can make it a bit tricky to have access to fresh affordable food staples, while I won’t bore you with my life story and how the discovery of this bread recipe is a game changer/life saver/… Insert whatever stereotypical food blog trope here… I will say I’ve tweaked this recipe for the past 2 years and it is a great easy make, fairly foolproof recipe that freezes well. So flashback to the bread making portion of 2020 and enjoy this recipe 😁
(these can be easily doubled to make 2 loaves at the same time if you have a large enough bowl)
•2 tablespoons sugar
•1¼ teaspoons instant yeast
•1¼ cups of warm water
•3 cups of plain flour ( in 1½ cup amounts)
•¼ teaspoon of salt
•2 tablespoons of oil (I use olive oil personally)
• You’ll also need a decent sized bowl, a loaf pan, a teatowel and ice cubes
1. Mix warm water, sugar and instant yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. It’s ready when the top has foamed.
2. Add oil, salt and half the flour (1½ cups) and mix until combined. Leave to sit for 10 minutes until it begins foaming up (bubbles will appear on the surface). It is best to leave it sit in a warm environment (Ie a Queensland typical kitchen year around or a slightly warm oven in cooler areas 😜).
3. Add remaining flour and mix until it begins reaching a moist dough consistency.
4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes turning as you go. If dough is too tacky add sprinkles of flour as needed before continuing to knead. After 10 minutes the dough will have a really nice consistency that will feel slightly bouncy to the touch and not stick to hands easily.
5. Put into a bowl lightly sprayed with oil (or splash some on your hands then roll the dough in it briefly) and cover with a warm damp tea towel. Leave to rest in a warm position for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
6. Knead gently on a floured surface for 2 minutes being careful not to knead the air out.
7. Shape into a log and place in a lightly oiled loaf tin.
8. Turn oven on to 180°C (150°C fan forced) and wait 5-10 minutes for oven to preheat while the bread rises one last bit. You can poke a skewer in or slice a line down the top to prevent the bread cracking on the side as it expands.
9. Place a few ice cubes into the base of the oven before placing the loaf tin in (which creates steam and makes for a softer fluffier bread). Bake loaf for 25-30 minutes or until the crust bounces back when gently pressed and is a nice golden brown colour.
10. Remove the bread from the oven and let sit for a further 10 minutes for the gluten to continue to rise/settle. The bread needs to be cut very gently when very fresh, it is easier to cut the following day! As there are limited preservative elements within this recipe it does go stale fairly fast but it freezes quite well.