Making your own bread is easy. It´s a beautiful process, that can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Because I like simplicity, I also tend to simplify all my recipes and leave room for experimenting in a conscious way.
To make a loaf of bread you need
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 25 grams of fresh yeast
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 spoons of olive oil for kneading
Start by mixing the sugar with the warm water, then dissolve the fresh yeast. Wait for 10 minutes until it forms a bit of foam on top. In a bowl, add the flour and salt and mix well, then pour in the warm water and yeast. Knead until you have incorporated all the flour.
Then, on a clean surface, add a bit of olive oil, add some on the bread and start kneading. The more you knead, the more layers and holes you´ll have in your bread because the yeast will mix well with the flower and it will make it raise. You can knead from 5 minutes (if you´re really lazy) to 10 (makes a nice medium fluffy, bread) or until you start sweating a little bit (Grandma dixit!). Then put it back in the bowl, cover it with a clean towel and let it rest from 1 to 2 hours.
Some people swear by plastic wrap, but a towel works just fine and you can reuse it as many times as you want. Hmm, here´s a crazy idea, why not have a special ¨the bread is rising, don´t disturb¨ tea towel? Ok, let´s focus…
When the dough has doubled it size, start warming up your oven to high heat.
You can bake your bread in a mold or make round buns, you can hide little pieces of cheese, crunchy bacon, anchovies, olives or whatever you want. There is no limit, really, just try things that sound good to you.
Bake it at high heat, in the middle of the oven for at least 30 hour (buns) to one hour (loaf), checking it after the first 30 minutes every 10 minutes or so. It´s done when the toothpick you push through the middle of your bread comes out clean and dry.
When warm, try a bit with butter and salt.
Enjoy the bread you´ve made!