Hands up if you have been envious of all the baking goddesses on Instagram. And what about those mouth-watering reels that make baking look so easy? Never mind them, we’ll get there, but let’s start with the basics: how to bake bread.
Even if you haven’t tried your hand at baking before, you can’t go wrong with this simple but tried recipe we found on Sally’s Baking Addiction. It only requires 4 ingredients that you need to work with to bake some delicious and artisan bread. That can’t too wrong, right?
Here are the 4 magical ingredients that you will need:
- Bread flour: Instead of opting for regular flour, go shop for some bread flour on Amazon or from your local supermarket, as this makes your bread output a lot more stronger, chewer and yummier in this recipe.
- Instant yeast: As the name suggests, this type of yeast just makes your favourite carbohydrate snack come out of the oven a lot quicker and more flavourful. However, you can use active dry yeast if you can’t find the first choice. But please do try!
- Salt: Yes, salt does make everything taste better. But if you are super health-conscious, remember that this is a lean dough recipe that makes the bread crustier and has less fat compared to a rich dough that has added butter and eggs.
- Water: With this recipe, we recommend you use cool or room temperature water. Even though cool water equals a longer process for the dough to rise, it can make it tastier. So patience is a virtue when you are only working with a few ingredients!
Pro-tips: Why not add herbs and seasonings such as garlic and rosemary to your dough to make it taste even better? You can also dust the pan with cornmeal to add a lot more flavour.
Now let’s bake this bad-boy loaf into bread:
Step 1, mix all of your ingredients to make the dough: Use your hands or a spatula to thoroughly mix the ingredients in a bowl. The dough may seem dry but kneading with your hands will moisten it up and when it’s a sticky consistency, you’ll know it’s ready.
Step 2, let it rise for a couple of hours: If you cover your dough and wait for 2-3 hours, it’ll double in size and be ready for the next step in the pursuit of deliciousness!
Step 3, refrigerate your dough: After your dough has risen, you need to put it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 3 days. The longer you wait, the better your bread will taste. During this refrigeration, the cold air slows the fermentation process and adds flavour and texture to your bread.
Step 4, shape your loaf: This is when you decide whether you want your bread to be a boule (round loaf) or two long loaves. You can use a sharp knife or bread lame to shape your desired bread type, we usually prefer a thick boule and bake it on a flat baking sheet.
Step 5, pre-heat your oven: We recommend a baking temperature of 246°C. This is because the warmer the oven, the hotter the air which will immediately set the crust so the bread rises quickly instead of spreading.
Step 6, let’s bake: Bake the loaf until it turns into golden brown bread which should take approximately 20-25 minutes. To check if the bread is done, gently tap it as it should sound hollow.
Wondering what to pair your homemade bread with? We have some ideas for you!
How about some cheese and garlic dip to cure a hangover or hangry moment? Or some slow-cooked chilli to serve up a delicious dinner? Or you know what pairs well with carbs? More carbs! Have some mac and cheese with your freshly-baked bread. You have earned this.