Mmmm Home baked bread.
Grandad Scraps was apprenticed as a Baker in the 1950’s and he’s passed on a few tricks over the years. He taught us to make bread rolls when we were kids and since we started trying to find ways to reduce our sugar intake, our grocery bill and our household waste, I’ve rediscovered my love of bread baking.
Even if you’ve never really baked before, bread is really easy ( the only hard part is the waiting). There’s lots of basic recipes available on the interwebs but this one is my go-to because I only have to prove it (let it rise) once.
Scrap House Bread
(Makes 1 Large Loaf)
5 cups flour (you don’t need special “bread flour” plain/all-purpose white, wholewheat or wholemeal will do. I often do 2 cups rye and 3 cups wholemeal or wholewheat)
1 & 1/2teaspoon dried yeast
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon rice malt syrup (or sugar, honey or molasses to ‘feed’ your yeast)
A large bowl
An oiled bread tin or tray.
Mix the yeast, syrup and 2 cups of the flour in a bow. Mix the boiling and cold water together and stir into the contents of bowl until well combined ( it’ll be a smooth goopy mix, like paste).
Leave it sit about 10 minutes in a warm spot to activate the yeast (it’ll go all bubbly on top).
Stir in the rest of the flour and salt until it comes together then turn out onto a clean surface and knead for at least 10 minutes. You do this putting the heel of your hand onto it, pushing it away from yourself across the bench, folding it over on itself and squishing it down, turn it around ninety degrees on the bench and repeat. Keep kneading until your dough is smooth to the touch.
Pat it into the desired shape and place in an oiled tin or on an oiled tray. This is also the same tin/tray you will bake it in.
Lightly cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm spot to rise. It’ll double (or more) in size. It usually takes about half an hour but can take a lot longer depending on the weather.
HINT: If it’s a particularly cold day you can get it to rise quicker by boiling a cup of water in the microwave then popping your dough in and popping your dough in there for 20 minutes or so. (Don’t switch it on). It creates a warm moist environment which helps feed your yeast. A hot steamy bathroom or sitting a coffee cup of boiling water in a large esky also works.
Bake in a hot oven (200C) for about 30 mins or until it’s golden on top and sounds “hollow” when you tap on it.
HINT: It bakes better if you pop a tin filled with hot water in the bottom your oven.
Turn out immediately onto a rack to cool.
HINT: It slices best if allowed to cool completely, but we can never wait that long so everyone here has just gotten used to jaggedy edges.
VARIATION: Divide your dough evenly and pop it into muffin pans to rise for cute dinner rolls.
To store just wrap in a clean tea towel or put in a cotton or linen bread bag and pop in your bread bin or a tin. It keeps quite well for two or three days.
If we ever happen to have any that lasts longer than that it either goes to the Immortal Chicken or the bread container in the freezer to be used for breadcrumbs or puddings.
You can probably make several loaves at once and freeze but I haven’t tried it with this particular recipe, because it’s so simple, I just make up a loaf a few times a week as we need it.