The tradition of homemade bread: the intense aroma of yeast, the golden odeur coming from the oven, the excited feeling of a homemade masterpiece. Be honest, there’s nothing like freshly baked bread at home, is there?
Bread usually is made of four basic ingredients: wheat flour, water, yeast and salt. Of these four, there is only one which is good for direct consumption, namely clear water. Yet we manage to make a very tasty product with these four resources. In the bargain we succeed, still dealing with the same four commodities, in making hundreds of different types of bread. This is almost unbelievable but yet this is a fact. In addition to the type and quality of the commodities, the method and the way of baking also has a great influence on the final quality of the bread. But if we’re able to make so many kinds of products with these commodities, then the secret has to lie in the baking techniques, the way the product is made. This process can be divided into three main stages: kneading, rising and baking. When you make bread you obviously want to get a final product with a relatively soft light structure which is easy to chew. In order to obtain this, it’s imperative that the individual phases of the production process are carried out in a correct and orderly manner. In addition, the kneading is the shortest, but probably the most important phase of the whole process. During the kneading, the basis is provided for the properties and the quality of the final product. At least, that’s what you’d think….!
Very true: the kneading is fully skipped in the preparation of this specific bread. How? Very simple: you mix all ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for about 2 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the fridge for an even better result). After that you transfer the mixture into a loaf pan and let it rise for another hour or so, then bake it in the oven for half an hour at 180°C/355°F (hot air) and your bread is ready. Easiest thing in the world! Preparation takes only 10 minutes and the result is always perfect: a tender bread with a crispy crust and a delicious flavor, important characteristics that are indistinguishable from a bread whose dough is kneaded in a ‘normal’ manner, and definitely the way how a bread should be like. In this case I have sunflower and pine nuts added, but if you want you can make all sorts of combinations with nuts and seeds that you like the most (or you just skip it).
Many people are afraid to prepare bread themselves. On the one hand by the time that goes with it and, secondly, the fear that it fails. Take my word for it: when making this bread, both emotions are groundless! Just give it a try I would say, after all, little to nothing can go wrong ….