Bread is one of those essential items. We buy it regularly, we have it several times a week – or even daily – as toast, sandwiches, buns, rolls, with spreads, with soups, as a side dish or starter, yet we have lost the art of making it ourselves from scratch.
Part of the reason for that is because we have become a society of convenience and part of it is letting go of an essential skill because we came to believe our lives were too busy to make time for this anymore – who needs to make bread when you can buy it from the shop for less than $2? But the cost that loaf of bread is so much more than what you see, it’s the low wage earned by the teenage apprentice making it, it’s the preservatives in that bread that aren’t good for you, it’s the plastic waste from the packaging, it’s the shipping and the carbon miles of that loaf of bread. Not only is making it at home better for you, it tastes better, it costs less and it’s better for the environment too.
And it’s much easier than you thought.
I always believed bread was really difficult to make at home, I thought you needed a bread maker, special flour and a lot of patience but it’s not true!
This easy bread recipe only has five ingredients and with the exception of yeast, you almost certainly you already have them in your cupboard.
Easy Vegan Bread Recipe
- 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 cup warm water (not boiling, warm)
- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups of plain flour
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together yeast, sugar, salt and water
2. Let it stand for about 10 minutes until the yeast has dissolved.
3. Slowly mix in the flour till combined and pulling away from the bowl.
4. Turn out your dough on to a floured board or surface and knead for about 10-15 mins until the dough is well formed.
5. Wash out your mixing bowl and coat with olive oil, then plop your dough in and turn over once to coat the dough. Cover with a hot tea towel and wait 2 hours for the dough to rise and double in size.
6. Once your dough has risen, preheat your oven to 180 – 200 C, turn dough out on to a floured surface and punch out excess air, then knead for another 5 minutes.
7. Shape your bread – do you want loaf bread bread in a tin? Buns? A French-style loaf? The choice is yours, once shaped, slash the top lightly with a knife and let it rest for five minutes.
8. In another pan, add boiling water to a depth of about 5mm, then place the water pan on the bottom rack of the oven, brush your bread loaf with cold water and put on the top rack of the oven, bake for 20 -35 minutes, checking regularly. When the loaf turns golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped it’s ready.
Recipe notes: I have noticed that my bread cooks in about 20 minutes but different ovens will produce different results. The cold water brush and the boiling water in the oven help to make the bread crust crispier and crunchier.