My own little bake off

I have always wanted to learn how to make a decent loaf of bread. In the past I have had some success with gluten free flour and dried yeast, though gluten free bread is always tricky and you can blame failures on the fickle nature of the flour. Not so with normal, gluten containing bread flours – then the fault is all your own….

So having found a brand of fresh yeast here in Italy, I am going to spend the next few weeks experimenting! Last week I made a passable loaf of white bread, except it was supposed to be foccacia and as a loaf was left wanting. It tasted ok but I reckon I can do better.

I have had a hunt for a few different recipes though the basics are the same – flour, warm water, yeast, oil and a little salt. Keep the salt separate from the yeast as it kills it. Mix ingredients to make a rough dough and then kneed until the dough is springy. Put in a clean, oiled bowl, cover in clingfilm and leave somewhere warm until the mix has doubled in size. Knock back (poke it a bit) and then shape, leave for another hour or so and then pop in the oven. Apparently the more water you can get into the dough the better but make sure it isn’t too wet – average amounts seem to be 500g flour to 300ml water. I do not own any scales in Italy so I use half a kilo bag of flour and a wine glass of water…

Beyond this I have little instruction so if any of the recipes I have found are particularly successful I shall post them for you. Happy baking 🙂


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