Monday, 24 March 2014

Back after a Hiatus in Homemade Bread!

That's right, there has been a FAR too long gap in the time where making homemade bread was once a weekly occurrence for Jonathan and I.  In fact, it was bread making that first started my blogging on long ago Tumblr 'Tried and Tested by Hannah'... However, I didn't stick to the blogging back then, and whilst believe me I'm eating bread ALL the time - we hadn't made our own bread in SUCH a long time.

So, with my parents arriving from England for March Break we thought we would get baking and making!  We also had my in-laws over the night before we arrived so everybody got to taste our homemade soup and bread! 

We made our favourite soup from Rose Reisman's cookery book, Sweet Potato and Molasses Soup (SO GOOD - highly recommend!) and then wanted to find a nice crusty bread to go with it, perfect for dipping in the thick, delicious soup.

After a bit of internet scouring I came across this recipe from 'Mel's Kitchen Cafe' and thought it was perfect for what we wanted.  She posts a really fantastic recipe and tutorial, and then also includes a picture tutorial with a simple step by step instruction list.  It's a great blog post!
So here's our bread making experience, and a few pics as we went along :-)

The best bit about this recipe?  Well, in addition to being a super amazing delicious chewy inside, crusty outside and easy to make... The recipe from Mel's Kitchen is also for TWO loaves!  And that's with baking one, and keeping the other in the fridge until ready to cook again up to two weeks later.  That meant we could bake one for one weekend... and then for the next weekend have another super fresh loaf of bread for lunch and more soup again with no dough to make - just a little longer final rising time!  What could be better than two fresh loaves!?!


1.5 tablespoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon salt
6.5 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting the dough
3 cups lukewarm water (around 100°F)


1.  In a large bowl, mix the yeast and salt into 3 cups of lukewarm water.  Stir in the flour and mix until there are no dry patches.  The dough will be quite loose.  (In fact... our dough was QUITE loose!  Perhaps due to the extreme cold dry weather.  I added a 1/2 to 1 tablespoon more of water and it seemed much better).

2.  Cover lightly with a damp kitchen towel but don't seal the bowl airtight.  Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours (or up to 5 hours)... We did a full whack 5 hour rise and oh my it rose!

3.  After the 2-5 hour rise you can prepare the bread for baking, or if you are refrigerating the dough, cover it in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for as long as two weeks. 
I cut the dough in half, to bake 1 loaf and to save the other for later in the week.
Turn the dough in your hands to lightly stretch the surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom.

4.  Put the dough on a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet turned upside down.  Let the dough rest for 40 minutes at room temperature (not covered this time).  NOTE:  If you have used the remaining dough out of the fridge, let it rest for 1.5 hours.

5.  Place a broiler pan (or traybake pan) on the bottom rack of the oven and a baking stone (we used our pizza stone) on the middle rack and preheat the oven to 450°F.  Heat the stone at that temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
6.  After the dough has rested and is ready to bake, dust lightly with flour and slash the top with a very sharp knife three times (or in a cross).

7.  Slide the dough with the parchment paper onto the baking stone.  Pour one cup of hot water into the pan at the bottom of the oven and shut the oven quickly to trap the steam.  (This will make the delicious crusty outside of the bread!)
8.  Bake the bread until well browned, for about 25 - 30 minutes.


9.  Cool the bread completely before eating.  The hardest part right?!  But the texture is best when the inside of the loaf is left to cool completely leaving a chewy inside and hard crusty outside.
Check out Mel's Kitchen recipe here to see alternatives to baking the bread on a baking stone, or even to read about cooking it in a greased loaf pan.
I was equally sad to finish the first loaf after just 24 hours, but then just as happy to have a second batch of dough just waiting to be baked the next weekend!!
Here's our Sweet Potato and Molasses soup along with the homemade bread at a family dinner last week!  Did you see my Instagram on it?!  Follow me to always be the first to see what I'm baking and making :)

I hope you get to try to bake this amazing bread.  Especially if, like us you're still eating soups and chilis to warm up each evening in this long long Winter!  Enjoy!
Read all about these super moist and delicious Coca-Cola Cupcakes with a Cola Glaze here! 

1 comment:

  1. This looks so fresh and delicious!! Homemade bread is the best but sadly I am scared of yeast for now!


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