First Loaf

First Loaf

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Sunday, 30th November 2008, 2 of 2

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Home-baked loaf
Four ingredients
Kneading
Rising
Knocking back
Slices of bread

THIS IS THE FIRST time that I’ve made bread. We’ve got a shelf-full of cookery books but what persuaded me to give it a try was coming across a simple recipe in Susannah Marriott’s 1001 ways to relax.

 

Tip 358 suggests that ‘stirring and kneading erase all other thoughts from your mind and release held-in tension.’

 

I’d go along with that! And it’s a magical and ancient process; I was watching a documentary on The Scorpion King which showed archaeological evidence of large scale baking (and brewing) operations two centuries before the first Pharaoh. But that tradition and mystique can be off-putting. There are a bewildering range of hints, tips and special ingredients associated with bread-making so this four ingredient, four paragraph, recipe appealed to me as being enticingly simple.

If I got into the habit of doing it, I guess it would be 5 minutes to get those 4 ingredients together, 10 minutes kneading and, later, a few minutes knocking back; ‘punch the dough’ is how this recipe describes the process. The rest of the time you’re waiting for it to rise and finally to bake.

 

It’s worth waiting for!

kneading

rising

punching

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