Loyal readers (hah, I just really wanted to write that) will know that I have tried a number of different bread recipes over the years, all hindered by the fact that kneading is BORING and I don’t knead enough. Because it’s boring. And I get fed up.
I’ve tried overnight breads, and “no-knead” breads, and I’ve learned that I don’t like the taste of soda bread. I have not yet tried sourdough but that’s mainly because bollocks to any bread that requires you to start it 3 days ahead of time, or to permanently keep a “starter” alive (I’m not calling it Humphrey or Herman or whatever it is called by the kind of people who refer to it as “friendship cake”).
This recipe works though. And I have not improved my kneading technique or my patience. It does require you to hang about a bit, so it’s a job for a day when you are going to be in, but you can spend most of the day watching Netflix (The Crown, for preference).
The magic ingredient seems to be sour cream. Mix 125g sour cream (just under a small pot – I’ve no idea what you’ll do with the remaining 25g), 100ml boiling water and 150ml cold water (or 250ml warm I guess, but I like the precision this gives for “how warm should it be?). This did not mix nicely but it didn’t matter. Add a sachet of dried yeast and 2tsp each of salt and sugar. Then put in 550g of bread flour and make dough.
I don’t know if ingredients come in different sizes in Australia but 125g of sour cream and 550g of flour are both slightly-annoying measurements for me (flour comes in 1kg or 1.5kg, so can make slightly under 2 or 3 of these). I’ll forgive it though on the basis that it ACTUALLY WORKS. Cover it up and wait a bit. I just draped a tea-towel over the bowl.
After 10 mins, knead for 10 seconds. Yes really, 10 SECONDS. I think I counted 30 “pushes” on the dough, which was probably more than 10 seconds. This is the only time I have ever kneaded for LONGER than I was told.
Cover, wait 10 more mins, knead for 10 seconds again. Cover, wait 10 more mins, knead for 10 seconds again. Cover, wait for an hour, then squish it into a rectangle, roll up like a swiss roll (note to self for next time – put something IN it at this point?), and put into a buttered loaf tin. Cover, wait 90 mins.
Into oven at 180C fan (everyone has a fan oven these days right? 200C if not fan, if you have an Aga you’re on your own).
45 mins later… BREAD.