Here’s another skill to pick up in the kitchen with all the extra time you have at home — making bread.
Unbeknownst to many, making bread is really one of the easiest things you can try making at home. It requires just a few ingredients and you can get creative with it once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of bread-making. Adding nuts, dried fruits, spices and herbs are some of the many ways you can experiment with basic bread recipes.
If cleaning is an issue, worry not as some recipes require nothing more than a whisk and a bowl. It is also a fun activity to do with your kids as you turn these foolproof doughs into mini buns, cinnamon rolls and cheese sticks.
So instead of hunting for bread every other day from the nearest grocery store in your neighbourhood, why not try making bread at home with these foolproof, no-knead and fuss-free recipes? Rest assured, a little self-satisfaction does go a long way.
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Featured image: Monika Grabkowska / Hero Image: Nadya Spetnitskaya
Are you thinking of French toast with maple syrup, slightly charred slices of bread with kaya and butter, or the classic PB&J sandwich at any time of the day? Try making this bread at home. This loaf gets its sturdy exterior and soft internal texture from a good balance of warm water and milk ratio, as well as by proofing the yeast properly in room temperature. It can be made in a stand mixer (with a dough hook) or a bread maker. The trick is to make a long, shallow slash across the centre of the loaf using a serrated knife to ensure that the bread rises properly in the oven.
(Photo: Youjeen Cho)
Once you’ve perfected the basic sandwich loaf, its time to up your bread-making skills with this no-knead bread recipe. This rustic loaf with a crispy crust and pillowy interior involves no stand mixer, no starter, no special knowledge, and no kneading. Simply let the wet dough rest and rise for 8 to 12 hours, shape into a round ball, and place it inside a covered Dutch oven. Bake for 30 minutes covered, and an extra 15 minutes uncovered. Sounds easy enough? All you need for this 4-ingredient recipe is a large bowl, whisk, large Dutch oven and parchment paper.
(Photo: Joe Lingeman)
Once you’ve understood the science behind making bread (basically activating the yeast to allow the dough to rise), you’re ready to proceed to making a beautiful loaf under an hour. This recipe still gives a crispy crust and a soft interior but has a slight tang from the yeast-like a sourdough. One trick to get the yeast to work quicker is by adding a tiny splash of vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar, which also gives a nice flavour to the loaf. However, you’ll need a microwave oven for this recipe.
(Photo: Joe Lingeman)
A fuss-free recipe, you can easily make the dough of this bread by using a food processor — just mix all the ingredients and let it come together. Leave it to rise for a few hours and when it has doubled in size, stretch it out in a skillet and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil to keep it extra moist. Top with your favourite herbs and flaky sea salt (or whatever you fancy as the sky’s the limit) before popping it into an oven. Use a cast iron skillet to achieve a super-crispy crust, or any oven-proof skillet works as well.
(Photo: Maria Siriano)