I’ve been making a lot of bread today, and I felt like I had to bleat about how much I love it. I love making bread. Seriously love it. Almost more than baking cakes. Most people will bake a cake at some point in their lives. Not that many people will go to the effort of making bread. And I’m not talking about breadmaking machines, I mean doing it all by hand, including the get-it-all-over-you mixing and the 10-15 minutes of kneading (which, by the way is an excellent upper arm workout. Unless you then eat the entirety of the result…)
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make you feel like a smug domestic goddess, it’s the smell of your bread in the oven, and the sublimely happy feeling of watching it rise and crisp. And what’s so wonderful about it is that you can be completely inattentive while making it. If the dough is too dry you just add a bit more liquid. If you turn it into slime, just keep kneading flour in. And as long as you end up with dough of vaguely the right consistency, you’ll get bread. Once you’ve made it a couple of times, you’ll develop an eye for it and find you don’t have to use a recipe anymore.
Although I can’t share what I’ve been making today (our competitors forever watching us like the Eye of Sauron), if you want some rather lovely bread recipes, then just follow the link. You’ll notice a preponderance of foccaccia-type recipes. It’s mainly because we’re a little bit addicted to it.
But don’t just take my word for it. The next time you’re feeling a bit stressed, or simply wanting to nest a bit, get the bread flour out and have a go. If you’re worried about it rising, make flatbreads. If you’re worried about your weight, make wholemeal. But please try…you’re nearest and dearest will love you for it.