Making bread might seem an enormous faff.
But this yummy bread dough recipe, (adapted from the River Cottage), is so super easy that you and the kids can knock up a great wodge of it in in just 10 to 15 minutes actual effort.
And because it is very freezable you can make pizza bases, pitta breads, bread sticks and dough balls as well as loaves and rolls for 2 or 3 meals out of one lot of dough.
I am making a massive effort to improve my meal planning at the moment, but all too frequently we've tried to cram too much into the day and I've neither time nor energy to cook properly.
A wodge of dough in the freezer that in less than 20 minutes can be turned into tasty pizzas or pittas on the table is a sanity saver on these occasions.
And when everyone is getting fractious waiting for food tiny, ready-in-minutes dough balls hot out of the oven with a blob of butter, are brilliant for calming everyone's nerves.
Now obviously you could buy pizza bases or pittas that would give you the same flexibility but they will cost you way more than your own dough and won't be anywhere near as healthy as your own dough which can be made with wholemeal, spelt or gluten free flour.
If you're looking for other wonderful bread recipes do check out the links from other brilliant bloggers at the bottom of this post ... and feel free to share your own ...
Bread Dough Recipe
Ingredients500g / 18oz strong white bread flour
250g / 9oz strong wholemeal bread flour or spelt flour (or just another 250g of strong white bread flour) (if you're in the UK Doves Farm have gluten free bread flour)
250g / 9oz plain white flour
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
600-650ml / 2.5-2.75 cups of warm water
These ingredients will make 2 loaves or 4 big pizzas.
- Mix up the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a big bowl (if you're doubling I would do in two bowls)
- Pour 2 tablespoons of oil & most of the warm water into a well in the dry ingredients
- Combine together as much as you can with a metal spoon and then with your hands
- Once all combined into a dough knead for 5 minutes or so on a floured surface
- Rinse out the bowl & pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into it
- Then roll the dough around in the oil in the bowl and leave covered with cling film or a damp tea towel to rise for an hour or so (if you're using spelt flour it seems to need a little less time but ours is often left for as long as we are in the park or busy doing something else)
- Deflate the risen dough and put it in loaf tins or baking sheets for pizza or shape it into pittas, dough balls or bread stick
- Cover with a cloth and leave for another 10 to 15 minutes before cooking at about 200c for bread or 220c for pizza or pittas
- If you're going to freeze some but are not sure how exactly you're going to use it, divide into fairly small roll size pieces, dust with extra flour and put in freezer bags or cling film
- When it comes out of the freezer it needs a quick knead and to be left for about 5 minutes to re-rise but if you're making small pizzas, pittas, bread sticks or dough balls it's pretty forgiving and it can go straight in the oven as soon as defrosted
If you're looking for more great child and adult friendly recipes, I can't recommend enough the River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook which is full of brilliant whole food recipes that the whole family from baby up can enjoy ..