You need to be dead inside not to love making bread, there’s a zen-ness about it…plus it gives you the fore-arms of a Gladiator if you make enough of it.
Here’s a hint from my mate Ali Johnston – Master Good Guy: “when I made the cob loaf, I did a cold rise overnight in the fridge so I could have it fresh in the morning without having to get up at 0-christ-00 in the AM! Worked beautifully..”. Can’t argue with that, a sexy guy with sexy footwear.
500 grams of brown bread flour
300 grams luke warm water
10grams fast yeast
2 TBS runny honey
10 grams salt
10 grams sugar
1 tps molasses (Optional)
In a big bowl combine the flour and salt, don’t worry about sifting. In another combine the water, yeast, sugar, honey and molasses and mix together well…bubbles.
Lash the yeasty liquid into the flour and bind everything together, turn out onto a floured surface and start kneading. Brown bread dough is less pliable than white so you really need to give this the beating of a life time…do not be afraid to really annoy this dough – stretch, pull, twist, drop-on-flour, bounce-off-wall etc, etc for at least 10 minutes. Drop into an oiled bowl, cling film and forget about for at least 2 hours.
At this stage it will have risen, doubled in size and smell like beer (that’ll be the yeast), hit it another slap to get the air out, knead a bit more to bring back together then form into what ever shape you want, even drop it into a bread tin! Leave for another 30minutes to prove then sling into a full tilt oven for 20minutes.
Top check this is done, you can tap the bottom for a hollow thunk…I find that unreliable so stick a knife in it and if it comes out clean then it’s done.
Get the cheese and Ale out!!