A Beginners Guide to Making Bread
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If making your own bread from scratch is something you think only those with way too much time on their hands are able to achieve, you're not alone. But making bread can actually be a simple, fairly quick undertaking. And the result- a richly flavoured artisan loaf emerging from your very own oven (NOT your bread machine)- is truly unbeatable. We have to admit, we love bread! In fact, we've put together this blog to help break down any barriers potentially facing all of you beginner bread makers out there. Enjoy these tips to help you get started! Note: Baking bread is also a great learning activity to do with the kiddies. Here's a great blog all about making bread with kids.
Tip #1: For any bread-making newbie, we'd recommend taking a look at the beloved Jim Lahey’s famous no-knead bread recipe, found in his My Bread cookbook or online where it’s featured in many a food-lover’s blog like this one. The secret to this recipe's success is slow-rise fermentation. As Jim shows, the amount of labour you put in amounts to 5 minutes. That's right: 5 minutes! You mix water, flour, yeast, and salt, and then let time work its magic—no kneading necessary. Wait 12 to 18 hours for the bread to rise. Then, after another short rise, briefly bake the bread in a covered cast-iron pot. Easy! In fact, this whole book is a must have for bread beginners. It outlines how to make a basic loaf, including an olive loaf, pecorino cheese bread, pancetta rolls, the classic Italian baguette (stirato), and the stunning bread stick studded with tomatoes, olives, or garlic (stecca).
Tip #2: Skip the yeast and go straight to the Irish Soda Bread. If you love fresh bread but want to avoid yeast altogether your first time around, try this amazingly simple Irish Soda Bread recipe or try this more traditional recipe for Irish Soda Bread, using a cast iron frying pan.
Tip #3: Easy Sandwich Bread. Here’s a nice and easy recipe for No-Knead 100% Whole Wheat Bread. It’s a great one for beginners because you simply mix together the ingredients and once again, skip the kneading altogether. The result: A dense, moist, easy-to-slice loaf, ideal for sandwiches.
Tip #4: Sourdough Bread. OK, if you love Sourdough bread, this recipe is a great one. However, this is where bread making gets a wee bit trickier. Sourdough Bread is more complicated as it requires both a Starter and kneading so this recipe is better for the beginner with either some time on their hands or an adventurous spirit. In this basic recipe for Sourdough bread from the Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse Emeril walks you through the steps.
And here's another yummy recipe for Sourdough Bread by the lovely Simple Bites.This one comes with a passionate account of all the health benefits of Sourdough. Who knew?
So, there you have it, some inspiration to help you conquer your first bread making experience. Please let us know how it goes. Better yet, post a picture of your bread here!