I grew up listening my granny´s stories about her youth and how she would go to bake her own bread to the wood oven at the village´s baker. She talked of a time that was too far away from me. It sounded like sci-fi. When you are a kid, it is just impossible to simply image the world existed before you were born. So, the world before my own mum was born was absolutely inconceivable.
Those stories from my grandma on her going to the baker’s to bake the bread that she knead at home, once a week, and how it kept perfectly fresh and lasted for a week, until her new baking trip, all those seemed to me made up stories.
Many years had to go by for me to remember all these. And now, I remember all of these every time I do homemade bread. I remember her, so hugely smiling, so funny, and her amazing sense of humor, in her immense kitchen, in where for years there was a wooden stove that only she managed to properly control.
Making bread at home is something everyone should try, even if you do not have any childhood memory connected to it at all. Because once you try to do your own bread at home you will repeat. It is one of the most rewarding experiences in the kitchen, no matter what is your level of expertise. You only need really simple ingredients, a bit of time and a hot oven to convince yourself that you make a proper loaf at home.
250 g wholemeal flour
250 g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
10 g salt
10 g dried active yeast (20 fresh baker yeast)
30 g butter, softened
300 ml good beer
Put the yeast into the beer and let aside for 10-15 minutes, until bubbly and frothy. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until all the flour has been picked up. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Let it rest in the bowl for 1 hour.
Line a baking tray. Tip the dough out onto your floured surface and shape into a ball, then flatten out with your hands and cut diagonal lines across the top. Put the dough on the baking tray and leave to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven 200º. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes until golden brown, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.