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If there’s one silver lining to social isolation — it’s that the population will be coming out of quarantine multi-lingual, with an arsenal of new books to recommend and probably an art studio or one-hit wonder.
In all seriousness, the small plus side to the current life-at-home climate is it’s a great time to pick up a new hobby. Bread making is both an art and incredibly useful during a time when the bread shelves at grocery stores are reduced to a few, sad, squished loaves.
When it comes to mastering the art of bread making, you’ll always need the same, base ingredients:
While making the perfect loaf of bread can be a challenge, there are easy ways to craft a delicious treat without too much effort or equipment.
Bread machine white bread
Of course the easiest way to make bread is going to be through using a bread machine. First add your water, sugar and yeast to the pan of the bread machine and leave for 10 minutes to activate, then add oil, flour and salt, select the bread setting and let it work its magic. No kneading, mixing or oven-watching necessary. If you’re not quite sure where to start, here’s a tried-and-true recipe.
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Dutch oven bread
No-knead, dutch oven bread has been receiving a lot of love online recently, due to its simple - yet customizable - ingredients and minimum effort requirement. Perfect to accompany a cheeseboard or as a lunchtime sandwich, no-knead bread requires one additional ingredient: cornmeal to coat the base.
If this is your preferred method of bread-making, be sure to plan ahead as this bread takes roughly 24 hours to make. Combine all ingredients and gently mix before placing in a bowl and covering with plastic wrap to let it rest for 18 hours. The next day, gently fold over the dough a couple of times before covering with a tea towel and letting it rest for 15 minutes. Then form into a ball and spread cornmeal over parchment paper before placing the dough on top. Let rise for two hours.
Leaving your cast-iron pot in the oven while it preheats, carefully transfer your dough and parchment paper to the dutch oven and shake gently to ensure it is evenly distributed. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes then remove lid and let brown. Feeling inspired? Here’s the full recipe to get started.
Shop our top picks for dutch ovens below.
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Surely by this point in quarantine you’re missing unlimited breadsticks from your favourite restaurant. The good news is, perfectly crisped flatbread may be closer than you think. Simply use a griddle pan to fry and your craving will be satiated.
Letting yeast activate similar to above, brush an additional mixing bowl with olive oil. In a food processor combine flour, sugar and salt then add dissolved yeast mixture and olive oil. Once the mixture forms a sticky ball, transfer to a floured surface and knead. Place smooth ball into the prepared bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise.
Once your dough is ready, separate into single-serving balls and flatten, brush your griddle with olive oil and begin frying. Slathering flatbreads in garlic butter just as they crisp is optional.
Shop our top items for grilled flatbread below.
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