The wonderful bunch of friends with whom I spent my jolly week in Cornwall brought a tear to my little eye a week ago, when an unexpected parcel dropped on my mat containing Paul Hollywood’s baking book. So, when a free Saturday morning arrived, I shunned the housework in favour of bread-baking. As I’m trying to hone my skills, I decided to go for a basic white loaf rather than anything more exciting.
It’s a very basic recipe of strong white flour, yeast, salt, butter and water, mixed by hand until all the flour has lifted off the bowl, then kneaded on an olive oiled surface. You then throw it into an oiled bowl and leave to prove. (Mr Hollywood doesn’t specify that it needs warmth, but I shoved mine in the airing cupboard for a couple of hours.)
After a couple of hours, it was FAT.
I then kneaded it again, shaped it and threw it in the tin, before proving it for another hour:
Then I sat on the kitchen floor like an excitable child, squealing and bouncing as I watched it becoming bread. Don’t judge me.
(Please note clean oven.)
BREAD!! Delicious, fluffy, crusty, white BREAD!!
There’s something incredibly gratifying about baking bread, and I’d recommend it to anyone. Much less mess than making and icing a cake, too…