Monday, 20 October 2014

Easy bread making

Welcome to new follower Gravyyard (I like your name).

My bread maker broke during the summer, the tiny clip which holds the paddle in had snapped.  We  unsuccessfully tried mend it ourselves,  in the end I contacted Morphy Richards who told me I would have to pay £20 for a whole new bucket and paddle.  I was half hoping that they would sell me a replacement clip - oh well, it was worth asking.  I won't buy a new bucket, at least not yet, as there is nothing wrong with my arms and hands so back to the old fashioned way.  It turns out that this is not only good exercise but rather therapeutic.  I make a cup of tea and put on an audio book and before I know it the dough is done.

We always use wholemeal flour.  It is slightly more expensive but I think it tastes nicer, healthier, and in my experience is easier and less problematic.   This is a simple, fool-proof recipe for anyone who has never tried bread making before.  I also use this recipe for pizza making.   This will do either 2 pizza bases or 1 pizza 1 garlic bread.  Today I'm making 8 bread buns for sandwiches. 

3 cups of wholemeal flour                       38p
1 and 1/4 cups of luke warm water
1/2 sachet of dried yeast *                      3p
1 and 1/2 tsp sugar                                 3p
1 and 1/4 tsp salt                                    1p
2 tblsp oil (any oil that you have)             10p
                                                          =  55p for 8 medium size buns
(There is of course the cost of cooking.  I always bake the bread when the oven is on for other things around dinner time.  I don't tend to put the oven on for just 1 thing.)

* Most recipes suggest a whole sachet of yeast.  This has always caused over rising for me and it has spilt over into the bread machine.  I halved the amount of yeast and this worked perfectly - it is just habit for me now.  Cheaper and more reliable.

Throw it all into a bowl and mix with a spoon.  Form it into a loose dough with your hands.  Turn out onto a board and begin kneading.  This process usually takes about 10 minutes and I do time myself.  The dough should be slightly tacky when kneading and leave a light film on your hands - don't be tempted to add more flour this is normal.  After 10 minutes if the dough looks soft and smooth it's probably done.  It may feel a little sweaty and might squeak when kneading.  This is a good sign.

I then put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a cut open, clean plastic bread bag and covered with a tea towel to keep in the warmth.  It needs to rise to double its size.  The time it takes depends on how warm the room is.  If I am in a hurry I speed this process up by putting the dough in a ceramic bowl on top of my mini oven which is put on the lowest temperature.  Or..if you have a double oven the bottom one can go on lowest setting and dough can be placed in the top (always covered).  I started this early so I will just leave it until it has risen.

When it has risen I 'knock it back' kneading for a further 5-10 minutes.  I cut and shape the dough into buns, place on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet.  Cover again and leave to rise to double their size.  These are ready to bake when the oven goes on.  I bake them at 220 degrees/GM 7 in the middle of the oven. For a bit.....

I consider bread making an economy - if you have the time.  But also homemade bread is nicer than shop bought bread, particular when fresh out of the oven. They do freeze well - of course - so they can be done as a batch and used later on.  Fresh dough can be frozen if you need it to be handy at busy times (I do this all the time for pizza dough).  Just remember to put it in a large container or big bag because as it defrosts it will rise and expand.

Have a happy Monday everyone.  For mums, dads, children, teachers - final push until half term! I can't wait.


  1. The buns look so tempting. I will try more breadmaking now the colder days are due to come in, then my kitchen will be lovely and warm for proving.

    1. I definitely do more bread making in winter - freshly made bread with home made soup. You can't beat it.

  2. I have a hard time kneading bread because of Rheumatoid arthritis, but probably should give it a whirl as exercise to keep the fingers limber. I don't take my bread maker out enough, but your recipe looks so easy. When I didn't work Fridays, making batch of dough for cinnamon rolls was a weekly ritual. My son and his friends devoured before heading to football games.

    1. Bread makers are fantastic. We used the dough setting the most. If mine worked I would use that everytime, it's just that I'm too cheap to buy the replacement part.

    2. Yes-love the dough setting. That was my go to cinnamon roll recipe, and so quick, considering I didn't have to watch over things once ingredients were dumped. It is really ridiculous that replacement parts cost nearly the same as replacing the whole item. Perhaps someone you know that is letting their bread maker collect dust on a shelf would be happy to have you take on theirs?

  3. They look rather tasty! Home made bread is the best bread, in my opinion! ;)

  4. Just found your blog and am loving all your ideas :) thanks for the recipe, going to try making these today as nothing beats homemade bread :) x

  5. Hello, just discovered your blog, and will return!
    I make bread all the time, usually sourdough, which I knock up at bedtime and bake in the morning (it likes the slow rise in a bowl in the cold kitchen). Or, I make yeast bread with a no-knead recipe. There are lots of "different" recipes on line for this (all quite similar). Baked and ready within 3 hours, no kneading at all, a quite moist easy to mix recipe, and always light and delicious. It uses one teaspoon of "easy bake" yeast, eg Dove Farm.

  6. Hi hope you are well, missing your blog posts x

  7. Hope you kept your breadmaker - try they show the most popular items but can often help with other bits. I have resurrected loads of white goods with their help!