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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I probably knead more dough than you.

Unless you make your own bread, that is. I'm just off to the kitchen to make a batch of six loaves, which I do slightly more often than once a week (family of 4 to feed, all having sandwiches). I thought maybe some people would find it interesting/useful to hear my method, which I think is very efficient and has been developed over the last five years. This bread is really nice and that is why I haven't bought shop bread for years (except for emergencies). If is also much cheaper and I think on the whole it is probably more efficient than using a bread machine. You can also make rolls, if you want. This recipe would make 48 rolls. Change the amounts if that's too much.

Equipment: two large mixing bowls; six loaf tins of dimensions approx. w12, l20, d9 cm; baking parchment (it's non-stick).

Ingredients: 2lb wholemeal flour, 1lb malted brown granary flour, 1lb white strong plain flour,
4 teaspoons caster sugar
4 teaspoons salt
4 x 7g sachets fast action yeast
4 ox margarine
1 pint milk mixed with 1 pint water


1. Share the dry ingredients equally between the two bowls and rub in the fat, 2oz in each bowl.

2. Put a jug containing half a pint of milk and half a pint of water in the microwave for 90 seconds on high power and then add it to one of the bowls. Mix with a knife then turn the contents on to a floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes.

3. Divide the dough into 3. Put each third into a tin which has been lined with baking parchment. I find you get best results if you stretch the dough into a rectangle and fold the ends in towards the middle so the top of the loaf is nice and smooth.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the second bowl.

5. Leave the tins covered with2 tea towels balanced on four bowls of steaming hot water until they have risen nicely (maybe this will take 30 - 45 mins).

6. Put them in a hot oven (200C in our fan oven) for 12 mins then take them out of their tins and put them back upside down for 10 minutes. Put to cool on a rack and then wrap each one in an old clean Sainsbury's carrier bag and freeze them. If you take one out of the freezer just before you go to bed it will be ready for you to make toast in the morning, and then you can make everyone's sandwiches and then you can put all the breakfast things in the dishwasher, and get yourself ready for work, and don't forget to have some breakfast yourself or you won't have enough energy to complete all your chores, will you?



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