Things To Note
I want your bread to be excellent. I want you to succeed every time you bake. No one has hours to spare on messing up. I've made plenty of mistakes, so you don't have to.
This article goes into more detail about the equipment, ingredients and measurements used in my recipes. Reading this page will allow you to judge what is really essential to success and what you can afford to be less rigid about.
A Note About Equipment
Bread-making is a simple, easy process. You don’t need to buy any special equipment.
You’ll need an oven if you want to bake loaves and you will find the following items useful:
A large bowl for mixing the dough.
A set of weighing scales.
A container for baking the bread. Loaves can be any shape you like and a flat baking sheet will suffice. If you want to make classic loaf-shaped loaves, you can buy loaf pans very cheaply. My basic bread recipe will make a loaf that fits into a standard 2lb loaf pan.
A cooling rack. You could use the wire rack from your grill pan, if you have one.
A Note About Ingredients
Bread should be made from strong flour. I use supermarket own brand flour and that works fine. You could, of course, choose to use organic, locally sourced flour. Most of my recipes can be adapted to use different combinations of white and brown flour. You could experiment with other flours too, such as rye flour or spelt flour.
I use Fermipan or sachets of supermarket own brand instant dried yeast. In the interests of keeping the method as simple and easy as possible, most of my recipes use dried yeast. You can use any type of yeast for my recipes, here's how. I also make my own sour-dough bread, using wild yeast starter, but that is a separate topic.
Tap water is fine for bread making, assuming that yours is suitable for drinking. It doesn't need to be particularly warm to activate the yeast but I usually heat mine in the kettle for a few moments until it is hand-hot: any hotter will be uncomfortable to mix and may kill the yeast.
Bread baking is an easy, fulfilling activity.
There is something lovely about creating dough, from scratch, to feed your family. It’s one of the most basic cooking skills and yet one that many people overlook.