Bread is easier to make than you think
I used to think it was complicated and manufacturers of bread making machines would have you believe so too. I am still a rookie at bread, and let me tell you this, make time to make bread. Don’t buy an expensive machine. Kneading dough, as Albert Smith of Ubuntu will tell you, is therapeutic. I have had the good fortune of being taught how to make bread by Albert when I commissioned him to deliver bread making skills for Smethwick CAN. Albert is currently featured in the Homemade in Smethwick exhibition which is currently touring in Sandwell Libraries, so if you are local to the area, do go and see it.
Through intimate portraits of individuals and families, Liz Hingley celebrates and documents the cultural diversity and the home cooking fusions of people living in the Victorian terraces of Smethwick, one of the most culturally diverse towns in England.
Back to the bread
I will share other bread recipes with you in the future. I chose this one first because if you have never made bread before and think you need complicated ingredients, rising time, tapping the bottom to check it sounds hollow – you know how Paul Hollywood make it all so difficult – well this ain’t that. Again I have to thank The Kitchen School and Smethwick Can Cook for this recipe.
250g plain flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp (half) salt
1/2 tsp baking powder 110 – 130 mls milk
2tsp vegetable oil plus extra for greasing
Herbs/garlic/sesame seeds for optional toppings
Sift the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
In a small bowl or jug mix together the milk and oil.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the liquid mixture.
Slowly mix together the dough by working from the centre and incorporating the flour from the edges of the ‘well’ to make a smooth, soft dough. Knead well for 8 to 10 minutes, adding a little more flour if too sticky.
Place the dough in to an oiled bowl (I just splashed a bit of oil into the bowl I kneaded the dough in and kneaded it into the dough), cover with a damp tea towel (a clean one) and leave in a warm place for 10 – 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 5 balls.
Preheat the grill to medium and place a heavy baking sheet on the upper shelf of the grill to heat.
Roll out the dough balls quite thinly, ideally in a teardrop shape, or a circle. Sprinkle over your chosen topping and press into the surface of the dough.
Place the naan onto the hot baking tray and grill for 1 – 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter or oil and serve.
I served mine with the dhal I made earlier this week.