How To Make Artisan Bread
Bread, everyone should bake their own bread at least once in a lifetime. Seriously, monthly at the minimum if you want to feed the soul. There is no better aroma that creeps from your oven doors to fill your nostrils with delight. I make some form of bread dough at least once a week. After you have read this article I hope you bake more of your own artisan bread.
Bread Recipes Basics
One of the most basic of recipes which has been around in one form another for hundreds of years. The earliest records of bread making are from ancient Egypt in the 5th dynasty found in the tomb of Saqqara. The basics of bread is a simple as, flour, oil, yeast and water. Salt and sugar can be also added to the basics, salt to add flavour then sugar which helps with the crust.
Cultures of Bread
Virtually every know culture has its own type of bread recipe. The French have their French stick, the Italians have their focaccia and pizza. There are two countries that are not renowned for their bread, China and Japan. They do however make milk bread. Personally I have never heard of milk bread until I started researching this article.
Modern Day Bread
Originally all bread was made the artisan way (by hand), individual hand shaped loaves placed one by one into the bread tins. Over the progress of time mass production was introduced into bread making so everyone could have their cheap daily bread. However this did nothing to improve the quality or flavour of the bread. It was 1961 when the Chorleywood bread process was introduced and now is used to produce over 80% of todays bread. Quick rise, quick bake equals less taste in my opinion.
Bread Is It Good For You
If you read the stories surrounding the Chorleywood bread process then the answer is No. Filled with enzymes and additives designed to enhance shelf life along with cutting production costs. We demand things to be cheaper, more affordable but expect the same quality and taste. Want to know exactly what is in your modern day bread then red the full article in the independent. If you you want great tasting bread you either have to pay a pretty premium or simply just bake your own.
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Artisan bread why is it called so. The word Artisan refers to handmade or a worker skilled in his trade. Time to bring back artisan bread and to leave out all those nasty, unnecessary additives. Making your own bread is not as difficult as you think and once you have mastered the basics the limit is only your imagination. If you like the taste of something then just incorporate it into your dough and bake it. Cheat a little get a bread maker but just bake your artisan bread.
Artisan Sundried Tomato Bread
I have tried many a variation of sundried tomato bread from acclaimed artisan bakers but of course they come at a cost. Out shopping one day at one of my many supermarkets around me, sun-dried tomatoes reduced on the deli counter. Sorted grabbed a few ounces and off home to make up some bread dough. The great joy of making artisan bread is that the kids can easily get involved as well.
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- Strong Flour (500g) any cheap, plus some for dusting kneading
- 1 packet of dried yeast
- 325ml warm water
- Oil (vegetable or Olive) A glug
- Sundried Tomatoes (as much or as little as you fancy)
Weigh out the flour
Add Packet of dried Yeast to flour
Add salt and sugar to flour
Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes
Fold all dry ingredients together
Then add your glug of oil (your choice but make it cheap)
Add water and mix in bowl with a wooden spoon
keep mixing until all ingredients combined
Once the mixture is well mixed take out the wooden spoon and mix by hand still in the large mixing bowl
Add more flour if required if the mixture is a little sticky
knead flour for 5 to 10 mins
leave in bowl and cover with clingfilm then place a tea towel over the top
Let the mixture prove in a warm place
Remove from bowl onto flour dusted surface and knead again
Cut and shape into desired outcome, Mini Loaves, Cobs (balm cakes, etc ,etc )
Let them prove again
Cook in oven for 20 mins aprrox at 190 degrees (check by site and also tap the bottom of the bread to ensure it sounds done)
The Instructions may seem a little long winded but they are not at all. Just follow them as best as possible and you will get great bread results every time. If I use sun dried tomatoes in the bread mixture I usually tip the oil from the tomatoes into the flour as its packed full of flavour along with the sundried tomatoes.
Looking for more unusual bread recipes ? Try this black pudding and Guinness bread recipe