Fresh bread is an everyday little luxury for me. The smell of baking bread is just divine and if it didn’t make me feel so hungry, I almost feel I could live on that alone. My fresh bread almost always comes from my breadmaker. I set it so it comes in time to present me with a fresh loaf first thing. I find this helps with the gorgeous scent of fresh bread making me hungry, because it’s breakfast time anyway when I get up so I don’t feel hungry for long. There’s something magical about getting up and smelling fresh bread which has been made for you while you slept.
Another thing that I find amazing about making my own fresh bread is that something so tasty can be created from so few ingredients. My normal white loaf, that I make most often, only contains 4 ingredients: water, flour, salt and yeast. They don’t look very promising when you put them into the bread bucket (the bit that the dough goes into that acts as mixing bowl and baking pan), but alchemy is at work to turn these humble ingredients into culinary gold.
My recipe for a simple white loaf requires the following ingredients:
- 350ml/ 12 fl oz water
- 500g/ 1lb 2oz strong white bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon yeast (the dried, suitable for breadmaker sort)
Put the ingredients into the bread bucket in the order they are listed. Choose the basic white bread setting for your breadmaker with a bread size of 1.5lb. Then 3 hours later you’ll have your bread. Bare in mind that it is difficult to slice when warm, so allow for some cooling time. I like eating it best when there is still a touch of residual warmth left from the cooking process, but it’s cooled enough to slice fairly easily. It doesn’t keep for too long, so eat on day 1 or 2 as fresh. After two days toast it. The toast it makes is like nectar too.