I have recently developed a sort of fascination for bread. Several things about it pique my interest, not the least of which is eating it hot out of the oven generously smeared with salted butter.
When I think of the multitude of factors which determine whether or not a loaf of bread will rise or remain forever deflated, I am overwhelmed. Every ingredient and every step in the process of bread making is pivotal in its success, or conversely its failure. Think too much about these factors and it is enough to put off even the most enthusiastic of bakers.
Fortunately for me however, ignorance is bliss, and I blindly began my bread making journey with a confidence far exceeding my experience, skill or talent. I began mixing and kneading, proving and rising, all-the-while lacking in any real understanding of what was occurring at a chemical level.
Having the ability to follow a recipe is one thing, understanding it is another. When I have an understanding of a recipe beyond simply following it rote, cooking becomes a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience. So inevitably it wasn’t long before I was learning about the structure of flour, the roles played by sugars and yeasts, proteins and glutens, dough temperatures, rising and proving. The more I learnt, the more I wanted to know and the more I knew the more I could experiment and alter recipes to better suit my taste.
This is an easy to follow recipe which I hope inspires your own little bread making journey.