I don't make bread. The sort of people who make their own bread, as we all know, are either self-important Islington twats who nest amongst ethnic cushions, French films and heavy-framed glasses with plain lenses, or hut-dwelling field folk who breed spaniels and knit their own muesli. Not me.
What this is obviously leading up to is the fact that I just made my own bread - and I'm bloody proud of it. It was simple and while not actively fun, at least satisfying in an acceptably non-spaniely way.
RECIPE (based on www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2060/easy-white-bread - but I've taken out all the intimidating, plain glass lenses vocab)
Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water, and mix well. Knead. Once the dough is smooth, place in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour with clingfilm or a tea towel over until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.
Line a baking tray with baking or greaseproof paper. Punch dough, then gently mould into a ball. Place it on the paper with a tea towel over for a further hour until doubled in size. [You could have knocked me over with a bridge roll when this actually happened …]
Heat oven to 220C/gas 7. Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.
Results? It tasted good. Nothing earth-shattering, but fresh, warm, crusty/fluffy. And maybe next time I'll experiment. From small slices, mighty loaves grow … [And in case you thought you'd misread the recipe, that's not really how bread works. Just making sure you know I know.]