Give us this day, our daily bread

I have recently been getting into baking bread. It all started when I found that the children were getting a bit too used to eating that sliced 50/50 bread and any bread that looked too brown in colour began to get rejected. I thought I had better see if I could remedy this problem by getting them to make some mini rolls, brown of course, but not too brown to begin with.
I found a recipe in my “Childrens book of baking” by Sara Lewis for soft seeded granary rolls. They love seeds and I initially followed the recipe but used half white, half brown/granary flour to get them used to the flavour. This worked a treat, mainly because they enjoyed shaping and glazing and seeding the rolls themselves. They couldn’t wait to get their hands on them, warm from the oven and smelling irresistible. Did they mention the rolls being brown of colour? No chance.
That was a turning point in the bread department for us all,  as I wanted to encourage and feed their bread habit whilst slowly  cranking up the ratio of brown to white flour. Sublety is ALL where kids are concerned. You could call it sneaky, cheating, dubious but, whatever, it works!
Since then, I have tried out a few variations on the theme of bread. My personal favourite is the pretzel. I can eat them anytime, anywhere. Focaccia with olives comes a close second with Parker house rolls following close behind ( a sort of brioche type roll ).
In fact, I don’t remember making any bread ever that hasn’t tasted half decent, probably because home-made bread has to be one of life’s great pleasures. Do not think that because I have the advantage of knowing how to cook,  I would naturally make a decent loaf. I still fear the sourdough and anything that needs a starter mix of fermented bubbling goo. I am also always in a rush, so it HAS to be easy.
Bread is easy, otherwise it wouldn’t feature in a kids baking book. Just to prove it, the recipe for this loaf came off the back of a supermarket strong white bread flour packet. All I did was replace a small amount of the white flour with rye flour as it was going out of date and needed using up.
If ever there was a food to make you feel good about life , bread is it. It’s been around long enough and every nation has it’s own version. The sense of achievement after pulling your loaf out of the oven never dims either!

Basic loaf:~ Makes 1 loaf


400g strong white bread flour
100g rye/wholemeal flour or
500g strong white flour if you want to keep it simple
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp sugar
1&1/2tsp salt
1tsp fast action dried yeast ( I like “Dove’s farm quick yeast” )
350ml or 12oz warm water


Place the flour in a large bowl wihh the sugar, salt, yeast and oil.
Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs (like you would for crumble mix or pastry).
Add the water to form a soft dough, keeping back a small amount as you may not need it all.
Knead the mixture well on a floured surface for 10 minutes.
If you are not sure how, look up how to knead dough on “You Tube”.

After kneading put the dough back in the bowl, cover with oiled cling film or a tea towel and leave it to prove ( rise ) for an hour.
Knead the dough briefly again then shape it . A large round circlular shape is easy to achieve.
Place the loaf onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and cover again.
Let it prove for another half hour.
Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees.
After the half an hour, brush the loaf with a little milk and a dusting of flour.
Bake for 30 minutes approximately.
Have a pat of butter and a fresh pot of jam or honey ready!


    • laura says

      I have only just begun making bread in the last year, but it really is worth doing every now & then.
      Let me know if you do give it a go!

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