Homemade bread not too technical
Gluten . . . a composite protein found in wheat, rye and barley, and one of the most heavily consumed on earth. It is created when two proteins, glutenin and gliadin, are brought together when flour is kneaded and forms a bond. Gluten gives food products the elasticity, structure and ability to bind together. It also traps carbon dioxide as the yeast ferments, which allows products to rise.
Our most obvious sources of gluten are in breads, pastas, cereals, cakes, pizza bases to name a few, but it is often hidden in things such as stocks, soups, premade meals and even sausages.
I have to admit, before this recipe I had never attempted to make bread. I had a pre-conceived notion that it was far too technical for an unskilled baker like myself. Thankfully, good friend and award winning architect Louise Wright from Assembly Architects proved me wrong. She is a very skilled baker, and until recently, had not purchased a loaf of bread for nearly 20 years.
Louise has taught me so many versatile, simple and delicious breads that I am going to have to spread these across two weeks. This week will be a bread that can be used as a pita for kid’s lunches or as a flat pizza bread. The second will be a delicious nutritious seed bread that is not that dissimilar to common brands such as Molenberg and Vogels. It can be a more sophisticated accompaniment to soups, salads and sandwiches. Both are adapted from recipes in Moro: The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark.
Pita Bread/Flat Bread
3 cups white flour plus extra for dusting
teaspoon Edmonds Surebake yeast
teaspoon salt 300ml warm water 2 tablespoons olive oil 1. Dissolve the yeast into the water and set aside. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour in the water mixing constantly by hand. 2. Once all the water has been combined, pour in the olive oil and knead it in. 3. On a clean bench top sprinkle with flour and knead the bread for about 5 minutes until it is soft and elastic. If it is too sticky add more flour a little at a time. 4. Set the dough aside covered with a cloth for about an hour. 5. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees. Divide the dough into about 6-8 even pieces and roll into balls. Roll out each piece on a floured surface until it is about 4-5mm thick and roughly in an oval shape. For flat bread, roll to about 3mm thick and into a round circle. 6. Place on trays on bake proof paper and cook for approximately 5-8 mins until bread has puffed up and cooked through.
5 cups wholemeal flour 2 cups white flour 825 ml warm water 1 heaped teaspoon Edmonds Surebake yeast 2 teaspoons sea salt 5 tablespoons sunflower seeds 5 tablespoons pumpkin seeds 2 tablespoons poppy seeds 3 tablespoons sesame seeds 1. Dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Pour this into a bowl with both the flours and mix by hand (or wooden spoon) until the mixture is smooth (note it will still be quite sticky at this point). Let this rest covered for about 20 mins. 2. Meanwhile prepare your bread tins (about 22cm long, 10cm wide) by oiling them thoroughly. 3. Mix in your seeds and salt and combine for 4-5 mins. 4. Divide mixture into two and pop into the tins. Sprinkle with extra seeds if you have them and leave covered in a warm place for 2-3 hours until the bread has risen to the level of the tin. 5. Cook in your pre heated oven at 220 degrees for 20-25 mins until the bread is cooked through. Serve immediately.
Simple breads by Masterchef 2015 finalist Bec Stanley.