Sometimes you just need to make bread

Sometimes you just need to make bread to switch off the screen and give your brain a break. To learn the art of something other than how to get the most likes on a post.

To relish the satisfaction of something gratifying that can’t be obtained in an instant and keeps giving for much longer.

Sometimes you just need to make bread to remind you that corporations often don’t have our best interests at heart. That processed, sanitised versions of things are no true substitute for things that used to be made with love.

Breaking through a crunchy crust to a soft, fluffy centre is not a sensation that comes with biting into a mass produced loaf.

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Sometimes you just need to make bread to realise that diets are dumb. That low calorie, low fat and sugar free foods aren’t at all like the morsels that are made with ingredients you can see, touch and smell.

To realise that real food is meant to nourish, be enjoyed and can only be eaten in limited amounts anyway because our brain isn’t tricked into thinking it’s something different and then left wanting.

Sometimes you just need to make bread to realise we’re all connected. That pretty much every culture has its own version and making it unites as us one.

From roti to ciabatta and naan, bread may be different just as we all are, but we have more in common than we do that divides.

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Sometimes you just need to make bread because a loaf cannot often be devoured alone. To get friends, family and acquaintances together to eat, laugh and make time for conversations that have been stonewalled by screens.

But you can also eat bread on your own, cut it up into slices to be enjoyed over time. Because the comfort of every bite gives a taste of home even when you might be far from it.

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Recipe adapted from Taste:

Ingredients

— 1 1/4 cups warm water
— 2 teaspoons (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
— 2 teaspoons caster sugar
— 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
— 3 cups plain flour
— 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
Method
1. Mix the water, yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl. Set aside in a warm for 5 minutes or until frothy. If you make the water quite warm, she really froths.
2. Place flour and half of the sea salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir until combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together.
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3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
4. Put some oil in a bowl and then pop in the dough cover with Cling Wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until it’s doubled in size.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C (probably best to do it now, I forgot and then warmed the oven as the bread baked). Put some baking paper on a tray or grease a tin, whatever you feel like.
5. Punch down centre of the dough with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes or until dough is elastic and has returned to original size. Press into the pan or whatever you’ve got. I shaped mine into a flat focaccia.
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6. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm place to prove for 20 minutes or until it’s doubled in height. Use your finger to press dimples into the dough.
7. Brush with remaining oil and sprinkle over salt.
8. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and focaccia sounds hollow when tapped on base. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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9. Make sure you eat some just as it is, straight from the oven because nothing compares. Then you can spread it with a sweet something.
Nutella. Nutella would be delicious.
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