Eating fresh bread is one of my favourite treats. My mum used to make bread when we lived in Papua New Guinea and the taste always takes me back to those times in my childhood. It tastes just the same as I remember! I’ve developed a bit of a process on how I like to make it, and I’ve included both a Thermomix and non-Thermomix method below.
310 g Luke warm water (1 1/3 cups)
1 sachet dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
510 g plain flour (3 1/2 cups)
30 g extra virgin olive oil (3 tablespoons)
Dough Method (for Thermomix)
1. Add ingredients into the bowl as listed.
2. Mix on 6 for 12 seconds.
3. Lock lid and knead for 1.5 minutes.
4. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Skip down to number 8 below for the next steps.
Dough Method (by hand)
1. Pour luke warm water into a small bowl. Then add the yeast, then salt and finally sugar. Set aside and let it sit for few minutes.
2. In another bowl, measure the flour.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid.
4. Add the oil in the centre where the liquid is.
5. Mix with a spoon until just combined.
6. Throw a little flour in the bench where you are working. Use hands to form a ball and knead for about 5 minutes. To knead, I fold the dough in half towards myself, and then push down with my palms and repeat.
7. Place in a bowl and allow to rise (ideally somewhere warm) in a bowl for 30 minutes (cover with a clean tea towel). Tip: In winter when it’s cold, I heat the oven slightly then turn it off and leave the dough to rise in there.
8. Once risen, remove the dough from the bowl and knead for a few minutes on a floured surface.
9. Then cut the bread rolls up. To make small-ish dinner rolls, I half the dough, then in quarters, and then each quarter into fourths (or thirds for larger bread rolls).
10. I don’t know why I do this. I’m not sure if I saw my mum do it or it’s just I do: to form balls, I draw all the edges together to form a sphere, and then I hit the top of the mound before placing it onto a tray with baking paper.
11. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
12. Place tray in a cold oven and turn to 180°C and cook until golden (about 15-20 minutes).
Sometimes I make them to accompany soup, or even just for an afternoon tea treat with lashings of butter and honey.