It's currently 34˚C (93˚F) here in Zurich, and about 110% humidity and I don't know what has possessed me to suddenly bake some bread.
It's just that ever since my beloved Kitchenaid "Kitty" came into my life I have had this burning desire to become one of those mums who bakes her own wholesome bread daily. Actually it's always been a dream of mine, but when you hardly have time to shower, mixing, kneading and proofing dough seems a little frivolous.
My kids have the right idea in this heat...
But then I stumbled on a recipe for "Rapid Mix Cool Rise Bread". This is basically a "chuck everything in your Kitchenaid and mix it up then put it in your fridge for a bit then bake" kind of recipe. And that's my kind of recipe. It's a great everyday loaf, makes nice sandwiches and really yummy toast, and most importantly, it makes two good-sized loaves. I'm sure I'll experiment with adding some more healthy ingredients later, but for now it's white bread, like Mr Muck and the little Mucks like it.
So here it is:
Kitchenaid Cool Rise White Bread
Makes 2 x 500g (1.1lb) loaves
* 5.5 cups Bread flour/ high grade flour*
* 2 tbs sugar
* 3 tsp salt
* 15g instant dry yeast (or enough for two 500g loaves depending on the brand you use - check the packet)
* 115g butter, softened
* 2 cups of water at around 40 - 45˚C (around 110-120˚F)
* 1/2 to 1 & 1/2 cups of extra flour
Attach a dough hook to your mixer.
Put the first 5 ingredients in the bowl and mix for half a minute.
With the mixer on low (speed 2 for Kitchenaids), slowly add the water until it is mixed in. You will be left with a wet-ish pasty dough.
Now start adding the additional flour, 1/2 a cup at a time. When the dough "cleans the bowl", stop adding flour.
Continue to mix/knead for another 2 minutes.
Cover with cling film and a clean tea towel and leave on the bench for 20 mins.
Risen dough - it should nearly double it's original size
Empty the dough onto a floured surface and cut in half.
Flatten the dough off with the palm of your hand (or a rolling pin) into a rectangle and roll it up. Place both loaves in tins you've greased with a bit of butter.
Cover with cling film and place in your refrigerator for 2 - 12 hours.
This is after only 2 hours in the fridge...
Just before baking, leave the bread out on the bench for 10 minutes while your oven heats. This is to return it to room temperature. Brush it with milk before baking.
Bake at 35-40 minutes at 200˚C (400˚F). It's done when it's a lovely brown colour and sounds hollow when you tap it.
Turn out of the tin straight away and enjoy!
Wish you could smell it...
Blueberry jam and butter just seemed so right...
* A note for my Switzerland-based friends. I made this bread using Haushaltmehl the first time and it was awful! I haven't found a good equivalent for high grade/bread flour here, so I purchased my high grade through www.britshop.ch.