Because I’ve been away quite a bit, I’ve really missed pottering in the kitchen, and the first thing that I wanted to do was bake. Oh wait, that was actually the second – the first was tidy up and put everything back where I like it – but then it was bake. I absolutely adore breadmaking: I love the delicious smell and the sense of achievement (and the fact that this recipe makes two loaves, because the first one gets scoffed instantly). What I don’t like is kneading. This recipe is 100% perfect WITHOUT kneading, and I know, because I make it nearly every day.
I know I’ve given you this recipe before but it’s SO good and so easy, I thought it was worth repeating. Also, I’m currently obsessed with smashed avocado on toast, so I’m baking loads. My favoured loaf is around half white flour to half rye. I don’t know how I ended up settling at the slightly odd amounts, but it always works really well and I’m too superstitious to change it. I then bung in anything that I fancy – this one was a handful of fresh thyme and a couple of handfuls of walnuts – or sometimes for breakfast I make sweet bread with raisins, dates, a bit of spice, whatever. Some are successful, a couple not so much (the sweet potato chunks were not a winner – slimy – but the sage and onion was a triumph) but just keep experimenting and find flavours you love.
400g strong white bread flour
325g rye flour
2 x 7g packs fast action dried yeast
1 tbsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp oil (I use rapeseed)
500ml warm water
So basically bung all the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer (keep the salt and yeast at separate ends), then add in the oil and the water. Mix for about 5 minutes – as it comes together, turn up the dial and really give it a good smacking around. Watch your mixer, mine jumps around on the worktop!.
Now just cover the bowl loosely with clingfilm and leave somewhere warm for an hour. The mixture comes right up and touches the clingfilm.
Flour your hands and the worktop (and your baking tray), as it’s quite sticky, then knock the dough back and shape into two round loaves – you can slit or cross the top if you like. Leave to rise – I usually give it about half an hour – then bake for 35 minutes at 190/gas 5.
Et voila! Leave to cool on a rack, otherwise the bottoms go a bit damp, and you’re done. Easy!