I'm not sure how long I've been baking the family bread. I think it must be over ten years.
Two or three times a week I bake a batch of four loaves.
Bread needs time. It takes me 3 hours and 20 mins to make four loaves from start to finish.
Of that time I spend only 10 minutes actually making the bread.
Delia Smith's white loaf recipe. My bread has four ingredients.This is my method, it has evolved over the years from
Flour, yeast, salt and water.
After two hours the dough will have doubled in size. Punch it down to knock out all the air. Scoop the dough out of the bowl and give it a quick knead.
Cut the dough into four pieces. I rarely get them equal. Form the pieces into loaf shapes tucking the ends under. Place in buttered tins. Butter works better than oil I've found. Of course you don't need a tin to bake bread, but if you do have tins you can bake more loaves in one go.
My tins are 2 lb tins.
After which time the dough will have risen again to the tops of the tins.
Put the tins in the oven at 220 °c/ 200°c fan oven for 40 minutes. The loaves should sound hollow on the bottom if you tap them with your knuckles. The butter will make the loaves slide out of the tins.
I always bake in bulk. It saves me time and fuel. I have plenty of freezer space so I simply put the extra baking in the freezer. Most baked goods freeze really well and bread is no exception. I put my loaves in plastic bags once they are cool and toss them in the freezer. They don't stay there long though. Four loaves last us three days at the most. A spell in the freezer makes the bread easier to slice.
My loaves weigh about 750g, the typical supermarket loaf I mentioned earlier weighs 400g.
My loaf costs 47p to make using Waitrose own brand flours and sea salt.
It costs 30p using Tesco own brand flours and table salt.
The typical supermarket loaf costs 90p.
Homemade bread costs less, tastes better, and is made from better ingredients than its factory equivalent.
When you take it out of the oven it fills your home with the most delicious smell in the world and makes you feel as if you've really accomplished something . You have, you have made your family's bread and what could be more worthwhile?