Saturday, 16 February 2008

Sooo VERY easy to bake rapid bread receipe

This was mainly by accident, but it works!

I had just read an article about the price of bread, which is going up non-stop as the price of grain increases, and one part of the article stated that "you still cannot make bread cheaper than you can buy it". This sounded like a challenge and so I thought, as my ever tolerant wife was out at a meeting, that I would show they were wrong. Looking at he way bread was made, with injections of steam etc I thought this would be no problem, a little ingenuity would suffice. However as I got into the baking process, I remembered that 1. I was supposed to get some shopping and 2. when Pam returned the kitchen would still be upside down, so I rushed through the process thinking that the birds would at least approve (again) of my failed efforts. But far from fail it all worked, so here is the receipe and the pictures to confirm it all.

Take one and a half mugs of warm water, pour them into a bowl and mix in one half a teaspoon of fresh dry yeast (yes I know its a lot) and a few pinches of salt. Pour in three mugs of plain flour and mix the whole lot together, (forget all that kneeding business) cover with cling film (I know I should have used a cloth, but I like to observe what is going on) and leave somewhere warm for an hour and a half (yes, I know its not long.) By then the whole mass, which has the consistency of the slime in Ghost Busters, will be covered in bubbles.

Give the whole lot a very quick stir and leave for a few minutes (possibly thinking 'this is never going to work') while you heat up the oven to around 220c/425f and as you do this put in the oven whatever container you are going to use to bake the bread in.

When the oven is at working temperature pour the dough into the now greased container, (but be careful, its hot, I 'found' out the hard way) cover it up with aluminum foil or whatever and put it in the oven for half an hour. My thought was that this would keep the moisture in for the first stage of cooking, After the thirty minutes take the cover off and leave it in the oven for ten more minutes to allow the top to brown.

Take out and allow to cool... really was that easy!

The top photo shows the dish and 'cover' before I put it in the oven, the next after half an hour and the next after ten minutes with the cover off. The result can be seen in the bottom photo. I must point out that our oven is rather old and about as reliable as a high mileage Trabant so you may have to experiment with the temperatures. Quantity wise, three of any sort of container should work for the flour/water ratios.

PS. It tastes as good as it looks!!


Mrs Green said...

Ok, I'm convinced!

The one thing I cannot do is make bread. I'm a good cook, very creative and pretty successful, but bread eludes me like nothing on this planet. You would not believe some of the creations I have managed to birth in the kitchen!

So, I will give this recipe a go with my most open mind and heart and see what comes of it.

Watch this space and thanks for the tips!

Mrs G x

Mrs Green said...

I was about to run off to the kitchen and start this off, but I need to ask something LOL!
Do you mean plain flour, or do I use bread flour??

You can tell I am a complete novice (and I hope your hand wasn't burned too badly. Do you have an aloe vera plant in your kitchen? Every home should have one, alongside a bottle of lavender essential oil. Nature's gifts for the hasty chef ;))

Mrs G x

Heather said...

I just discovered this blog and it's great! We love DIY green stuff - so many people try to spin you the idea that to be green you have to buy stuff from them, not just be creative. But we worship the creator and are made in His image - so creating is part of what we are made to do :-)

About the bread, I make bread to a very similar recipe every week. It costs NZ$1.50 for the ingredients and the electricity to make two loaves - you couldn't buy that amount of the cheapest sliced commercial bread for less than $3, and not yummy bakery-style bread like this for less than around $5-$6.

My recipe is based on Jim Lahey's "No Knead Bread" which was all over the internet about a year ago. It uses only 1/2 tsp yeast for six cups of flour and then you make quite a wet dough as you have (about 3 cups water or a bit more) and leave it in a warm place for about 18 hours. So you have to be organised, but it's easy. At the end of 18 hours you punch it down, squeeze it into two balls and leave it to rise on a floured surface until it has doubled again (2-4 hours depending on the weather). You preheat the oven with the loaf tins in it as you have done, but you use something heavy for your tins like cast iron or a cassrole dish as they really hold the heat. You also (my own innovation) put a pan of water in the cold oven so it fills with steam as it heats. This way you get good crust formation without having to waste tinfoil covering your pan. In the last five minutes instead of uncovering the pan you crack the oven open to release the steam and firm up the crust.


--Heather from New Zealand

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Sorry re the delay in replying but I did not tick the 'email comments' box *sighs and shakes head*

I use plain flower Mrs. G, the hand healed well, and thank you for your comments Heather.