The aroma of oven bread...
home February 2014
• 2 x 10g sachets instant yeast (50g fresh yeast, if you prefer)
• about 600ml lukewarm water
• 1kg flour
• 30ml sugar
• 10-15ml salt
• 60ml olive oil
Dissolve the yeast in about 50ml of water. Sift the flour, sugar and salt and make a well in the centre with your hand. Add the yeast mixture, the rest of the water and the oil and sprinkle a little flour on the surface. Set this aside to rest in a warm spot for about 15-20 minutes or until the mixture bubbles on the surface (this step is optional, but improves the flavour of the bread).
Mix the flour, little by little, with a circular movement from the outside to the inside until the dough is too stiff to mix further. Turn it out onto a clean work surface and knead until smooth. Put the dough in a clean, floured mixing bowl, cover with a cloth or clingwrap and let this rise in a warm spot until it doubles in volume (about 1 hour). Punch down the dough, divide it in half and shape into loaves. Put the dough in greased loaf tins and let these rise again until they double in volume (this time about 45 minutes). Preheat the oven. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the bread dough and sprinkle with flour. Bake at 220°C for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Test by tapping the bottom of the loaf – if it sounds hollow, the bread is cooked.
Johané says: I find baking bread very therapeutic; preferably, it shouldn’t be undertaken if you’re in a hurry. Enjoy the process and, of course, the delicious result – with real butter.