More precisely I should have said bread. I love bread and I have a waistline to prove it.
On a cruise ship, there is always a basket of bread at lunch and dinner – freshly baked rolls and lots of good butter.
On land, you may have been lucky enough to sample a fabulous baguette in Paris or a brilliant flatbread in Istanbul, a great pizza base in Rome, or a rustic loaf in any number of the exceptional hotels in Australia or anywhere in the world.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with making my own bread. I’ve tried heaps of different recipes – from creating my own sourdough mother to overnight bread that has only 3 ingredients.
The following recipe comes from Recipe Tin Eats – it is so easy to make and tastes great. When I take a bite and close my eyes I could be travelling anywhere – I wish!!
- 3 cups (450g) flour, bread or plain/all-purpose
- 2 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 2 tsp salt, cooking / kosher salt
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) very warm tap water, NOT boiling or super hot
Mix Dough: Mix flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add water, then use the handle of a wooden spoon to mix until all the flour is incorporated.
The dough will be wet and sloppy – not kneadable, but not runny like cake batter. Adjust with more water or flour if needed for the right consistency.
Rise: Cover with cling wrap or plate, leave on the counter for 2 – 3 hours until it doubles in volume, it’s wobbly like jelly and the top is bubbly. If after 1 hour it doesn’t seem to be rising, move it somewhere warmer.
Preheat oven – Put dutch oven in oven with lid on (26cm/10″ or larger). Preheat to 230°C/450°F (220° fan) 30 minutes prior to baking.
Shape dough: Sprinkle work surface with 1 tbsp flour, scrape dough out of bowl. Sprinkle top with ½ tbsp flour.
Using a dough scraper or anything of similar shape (cake server, large knife, spatula), fold the sides inwards (about 6 folds) to roughly form a roundish shape. Don’t be too meticulous here – you’re about to deform it, it’s more about deflating the bubbles in the dough and forming a shape you can move.
Transfer to paper: Slide a large piece of parchment/baking paper (not wax paper) next to the dough, then flip the dough upside down onto the paper (ie seam side down, smooth side up). Slide/push it towards the middle, then reshape it into a round(ish) shape. Don’t get too hung up about shape. In fact, lopsided = more ridges = more crunchy bits!
Dough in pot: Remove piping hot dutch oven from oven. Use paper to place dough into pot, place lid on.
Bake 30 minutes covered, then 12 minutes uncovered or until deep golden and crispy.
Cool on rack for 10 minutes before slicing.
There is a fabulous video on the website that explains everything very simply – click here>>
Once the bread is ready plaster it with whatever topping you choose and take a big bite and let the memories begin!