I have always been more of a sweet rather than savoury baker and will admit that, until today, had never baked bread from scratch. After almost four seasons of The Great British Bake Off, I felt that it was high time I started. The eight-strand plaited loaf from series 3 actually blows my mind.
I am sure you will agree with me in that there is nothing quite like the smell of a freshly-baked loaf of bread. I sometimes like to linger around the bakery section in Waitrose to take in the mouth-watering aroma. So if you ever see a curly-haired nutcase spending a little more time than normal in front of a shelf of granary loaves, chances are it will be me. I advise you to save yourself and walk on by, pretending that I am not there. Wow. Over-share, much? Well I might as well be honest about my bizarreness from the get-go, hey? No point in tip toeing around the facts here, people.
Now, without trying to be that annoying person who is always making excuses (they drive me nuts), the main obstacle that has prevented me from venturing down the long and winding bread road (cue music) before now is exactly that – it’s long! Baking bread isn’t a speedy task, and I am a hugely busy and important person. It’s tough to find a solid 3-4 hours to fit it in, so this bread venture ended up being a rather late-night baking sesh. I would like to make very clear that this is a major achievement for a self-confessed morning person.
So. Bread. Where do I even start? With such an extensive array of recipes, techniques, and flavours to choose from, I found the selection process somewhat overwhelming. I eventually settled for a recipe from none other than the bread King, himself – Mr. Paul Hollywood. Yep. Gave him a call and said, “Sup Pauly-H. How goes it bro…” OK – well not really. The BBC Food website did the trick, and besides – it would have been rude to call Paul first thing on a Sunday.
I went with a simple loaf to start – Paul Hollywood’s Easy White Bread. Not going to write the entire recipe out here as it is rather lengthy (not unlike the process of making it), but if you are interested in having a go then just click the link below! It takes a while, but is pretty straight-forward to follow and the smell when it came out of the oven was divine. Happy baking y’all.