Monday, September 5, 2011

Make Your Own Week day one: Bread

Breakfast: Toasted home-made bread with home-made jam. Ultimate smug breakfast

Lunch: Brunch wrap from Tequila Bookworm with salad and their awesome coffee

Dinner: Vegetable curry with brown rice

This week on the Everyday Veggie is going to be Make Your Own Week. Yes, it's technically always Make Your Own Week (duh) but this week is going to show you how to make your own kitchen staples; the things you buy without even thinking about making your own.

Why? Well, the things you buy in the store are often full of salt and sugars to make them last longer, and so can be quite unnecessarily bad for you without you even knowing - baked beans are notoriously bad for this, and so is anything tinned. Sometimes, they're unnecessarily expensive in the stores, with a litre of almond milk in Sydney costing an unbelievable ten dollars. Sometimes, though it's just more fun to make your own and be in control of the flavours - and we'll be making ice cream simply because it is fun.

First up though, bread. There need to be no reasons for making your own bread beyond these two: it makes you feel like some sort of kitchen master and it leaves that amazing just-baked-bread smell permeating your house all day.

You'll need
(Makes 1 loaf)
1 kg whole wheat flour
6 tsp instant yeast
6 tsp honey / sugar
2.5 cups warm water
2 tsp salt

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl
Stir in the yeast
Dissolve the honey / sugar into the water
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water mix, then stir to make a moist dough
On a floured surface, knead the dough - pull it, rip it, slam it down, fold it over roughly
When it rips less and moves back together when pulled, put it in a large bowl with a tea towel over
Leave for 40 minutes in a warm, moist place
It will have doubled in size; knead again for 2 minutes and leave again for 40 minutes
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
Place gently into a loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes
When it's ready, it should sound hollow when you knock on it, and should smell gorgeous!

I can't tell you how much of a sense of achievement you get from making your own delicious bread. It has such a dense flavour and feels really hearty. Leave it to cool then coat a slice with a thick layer of home-made cherry jam, and enjoy it with a cup of tea and the paper. Pure farmhouse kitchen joy.

I'll never go back!

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