How can you tell how good bread is without testing it?
Not the smell, not the look, but the sound of the crust.
Oh symphony of crackle.
Only great bread sound this way
Colette from Ratatouille
I have such an attraction for bread and the broad spectrum you have to be creative with it.
Pure happiness is making your own bread, the satisfaction is taking freshly baked bread out of the oven, but true love kicks in when getting to eat it and share it.
You can keep you bread plain, you can flavour it, you can mould it, watch it prove and grow to something extraordinary.
It does not end there – you can toast it, make French toast, make the best freaking toasty sandwich, make a legit croque monsieur, or even a decadent bread and butter pudding.
So go on, bake a loaf of bread today…
10g instant yeast
310ml warm water
250g white bread flour
250g cake flour
1/3 cup oil
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, finely chopped, combined with 2 tbsp olive oil
50g herb feta cheese
Combine the yeast, sugar, and water in a large bowl.
Add the flours and salt, using your hands bring it all together until a course ball.
Remove from the bowl and knead the dough for 15 minutes until smooth and soft, you may need to dust extra flour during kneading to prevent it from sticking.
Place in a large oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Knock down the dough by kneading out the excess air bubbles.
Using a deep baking tray (20cm x 30 cm x 6cm), fill with the 1/3 cup oil, coating the edges of the tray.
Gently stretch the dough with your hands using your finger tips starting in the middle pull outwards. To get an even flat bread to fit in the tin, you can even use the palms of your hands, but do not tear the dough, just stretch gently.
Place in the tray, using your finger tips making dimples in the bread, this will also create an even thickness throughout the bread.
Press the tomatoes, rosemary and feta into the dough so they are nice and snug. Drizzle the garlic oil over, and season with a grind of black pepper and an even sprinkle of Maldon salt crystals.
Cover with a damp tea towel for 30 minutes.
Bake at 200˚C for 5 minutes, drop the temperature to 160˚C for 15-20 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Test with a cake needle or, tap the bottom of the bread, if there is a hollow sound the bread is done.
Once it comes out the oven brush lightly with a bit of oil.
Makes: 1 loaf
Tip: when baking bread there may be a variation of the quantities of flour and liquid. Due to weather, hemisphere, and even the type of flour used the quantities will be affected. So do not be alarmed if you do not use all the flour, or if you need extra.