Tag Archives: yeast

>Bread making wednesdays…

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Pains au lait from The Larousse Gastronomic Dictionary

This is a sweet and buttery bread served for breakfast or for the “goûter des enfants” at 4 O’clock. And Wednesday afternoon is my favourite time to bake bread with the children- today, just my youngest!

Put 500g of flour into a pyramid shape in a wide dish. Add a pinch of salt, 20g of sugar and 125g of soft butter. Add a packet of bakers yeast or fresh yeast (20g) mixed in a bit of hot water. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon then wet the mix with 250ml of warm milk (full milk, do not boil).

Work well with floured hands then roll in a ball and cover with a plastic bag and hand towel. Leave to rise in a warm, draught-free place for the night or about 12 hours.
In the morning, knead further until the dough responds with elasticity and spring; divide the mix in 10 to 15 elongated balls, make a cross with a knife on the top, brush with a beaten egg and bake in a hot oven (250°) for 45 min. Tip to get a soft crust: put a small bowl of water in the oven with the buns.

There is real magic in bread: how it is so simple and so truthful but at the same time mysterious and archaic… Something that really entrances children when they knead and feel the dough getting warm and alive in their hands: I love their smile and their pleasure when “it works” and the bread finally rises like a crackled sponge from the depth of the bowl…

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>My homemade bread

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RECIPE FOR THE BAKERS BREAD

500gr of strong flour

15gr of baker’s yeast or 1 packet of dry yeast

350ml of water with a pinch of salt

Pour the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and put in the yeast diluted in a cup of warm water.

Pour the lukewarm water slowly in while mixing with a wooden spoon. Mix well to get a soft but not sticky ball of dough.

Knead the dough on a worktop by rolling it on itself with some tempo! Add flour if it sticks. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling-film or a wet cloth. Leave to rise for one hour in a warm place, or just leave it out for the night.

Knead again for as long as you enjoy it! Let it rise for another half hour, this time snugly fitted into a greased cake tin or a lined baking tray. When it has risen nicely, you can decorate by slashing the surface with scissors or powdering with extra flour. Meanwhile, start the oven at its highest temperature.

Put to bake in a very hot oven for half hour, on the bottom shelf. It is ready when the crust is a deep golden and solid to the touch.

Yesterday evening, I made this into small balls of dough and rolled them in various seeds :linseeds, sesame or oats taste nice- Or you can stuff them with raisins or nuts for breakfast.