Saturday, 26 February 2011

Nigella's Lazy Loaf

If you've never made home-made bread before, this is the perfect introduction. It requires about as much effort as curling your own eyelashes. You mix some things in a bowl, put them in a tin, put it in the oven, take it out a couple of hours later and you have a perfectly formed little loaf right there, perfect for devouring eagerly with some butter and jam. Or even with cheese and soup - it works well with both sweet and savoury adornments. This was originally a Nigella recipe from her 'Nigella Express' book, but I've adapted it a bit over the years and now I think I have it down to the perfect formula.

Don't ask me how it works - it needs no kneading, rising or proving, it just all goes together and then into the oven - but it does, and gloriously so. If you don't have time to knead your bread, or sit around waiting for it to rise, this is the loaf for you. It's just as rewarding as baking your own bread always is, but with less of the faff. It's also very good with my homemade blackberry and apple jam; few breakfasts are as satisfying as one incorporating not one, but two homemade items. Make it one evening and you'll wake up the next morning eager to get out of bed - a much better wake-up call than an alarm.

Lazy loaf:

Mix 200g rolled oats with 325g granary or wholewheat bread flour, 6g instant yeast, and a tsp salt in a large bowl. Mix 250ml water with 250ml semi-skimmed milk, and mix into the dry ingredients until you have a homogenous and quite runny 'dough'.

Grease and line a 900g loaf tin, and pour in the mixture. Put into a cold oven, turning it immediately onto 110C, then leave for 45 mins. Then turn the oven up to 180C and leave for an hour.

That really is it. Remove to a rack and leave to cool, then eat greedily with lashings of jam for breakfast.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Elly! I believe it works something like this:
    1) The oats replace some of what would have been wheat flour, thereby reducing the overall protein/gluten content of the dry mix, which means kneading (done to relax the wheat gluten) is unnecessary.
    2) The milk may have something to do with accelerating the "feeding" of the yeast, but then again it may not.
    3) Putting the dough into the oven cold and only turning it up to 110C is the equivalent of leaving it to rise in a warm place - it gets the yeast working without killing it off, so it can do the rising thing in the oven before you whack it up to 180 for the actual baking.
    Sounds tasty. Apologies for sciencifying your blog, but it was bread so I got excited :s
    Jonny x


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