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This is a question The B3ta Cookbook

We're bored of beans on toast. Pretend you're on Pinterest and share your cooking tips and recipes. Can't cook? Don't let that stop you telling us about the disastrous shit you've made.

(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 21:56)
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Bread.
Don't use a bread maker, they suck. Don't use exact measurements, they'll only convince you that you're doing it wrong.

You're going to need some water, a bag of flour (usually they are 1.5kg), some dried yeast (usually it's about 60p for a tin that lasts for ages) and a tin of beer (okay, this one is optional). You're also going to need a jug or small bowl, a biggish bowl, and a baking sheet or big flat baking tray. Or bread tins.

Stick about 300ml of warm water - 200ml of cold and 100ml of boiling will be about right - into a bowl, and stir in a teaspoon of sugar and a tablespoon of dried yeast. Put it somewhere warm for 20 minutes. Once it's done give it a stir to get rid of the foam.

Put half a bag of flour (about 750g) into a biggish bowl. Make a well in the middle, and pour about half the yeasty water in. Pull some flour in and make a wee puddle in the middle of sloppy floury gunk. Put a clean dishcloth over the bowl, leave it somewhere warm for 20 minutes. It should look bubbly when it's done.

Now stir it and pour in the rest of the yeasty water. You should end up with a firm, slightly sticky dough. If it's too and all the flour won't mix in, add more water a little bit at a time. If it's too wet, add a bit more flour. Don't overdo it.

Kneading it is the fun part. Pour a handful or two of flour onto a clean cutting board, or even just onto the worktop (but it's hell to clean off). Make sure your hands are covered in flour, or the dough will stick. Start kneading the dough making sure you keep turning it different ways. After about five to ten minutes (yes, really that long - stick a 12" single on, New Order - "Blue Monday" is about the right length and speed) it'll get a kind of smooth glossy look - it's about done. Chuck the dough back into the bowl, put the dishtowel back over it, and put it back in a warm place for about an hour or so.

Have a beer.

Put the oven on at 200C-220C. Get the dough out, turn it back out onto your floured chopping board, and cut it in half. If you're using bread tins, grease them with some margarine, and stick the bread in. If you're using a baking sheet, sprinkle a thin layer of flour on it, shape the two bits of dough into ovals, and put them on it. You can cut slashes about 1/2" deep diagonally across the bread so it looks like the stuff you get in the posh bakeries.

Bung it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until it looks done and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

If you want to make posh bread with seeds and stuff in, mix them into the flour before you add the water. Sunflower seeds work pretty well, as do pumpkin seeds.

If you want to make the top all shiny and glossy, brush a little beaten egg on. You can use milk which makes it slightly shiny and a bit browner, or you can use a little oil. Brush on some milk and sprinkle sesame seeds on, even.

Experiment. If you muck it up, you've probably *still* got something edible, and at worst you've wasted 80p worth of ingredients.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 22:21, closed)
I totally approve
Its so versatile as well - any type of bread can be made from this... I like onion bread or cheesy topped loaves. made foccacia this evening - lovely.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 22:32, closed)
Exactly...
Cheese bread? Grate some cheese, mix it in. Cheese and onion bread? Grate some cheese, chop some onions (long thin slices work best), bung it in.

Want a crunchy, oaty bread that makes awesome toast? Mix a couple of large handfuls of porridge oats in. Got some pesto left over? Chuck it in, your bread will go green and taste of pesto.
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 22:44, closed)
fuck the yeast
make a sourdough starter instead and use that
(, Thu 28 Jun 2012, 23:53, closed)
I always use wee
to make a wee puddle and it makes my bread taste funny if i make a wee puddle with wee in my dough mix.

What am I doing wrong?
(, Tue 3 Jul 2012, 0:04, closed)

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