First in our 'Lazy Bread' series.
Making bread is lots of fun with young children, but their staying power at kneading and patience for proving is not great. Couple that with a tiny overall attention span and bread-making with young kids doesn't seem like such a good idea any more. However, let me introduce you to the concept of 'Lazy Bread.' If you are a perfectionist or an expert baker, do not follow this series because some of what I suggest will be sacrilege.
'Lazy bread' is making delicious breads with minimal effort; ones that even the busiest person has time to do. If you want to make your bread the best ever, this series of recipes isn't for you - kneading and proving are there for a reason. But if like me, you don't normally bake bread because it's just too much faff to fit into the day, then 'Lazy Bread' will change your life.
Our first 'Lazy Bread' recipe is Crusty White Baguette; perfect with soup, casseroles or a picnic meal of cheese, meats and salad. This one is unbelievably easy, but you do need to leave it a while to do its stuff. We usually make this first thing before school/preschool. And then finish it off in time to have warm, home-made bread for lunch or supper.
Get your child to:
- Put 450g (3 1/2 cups) strong white bread flour into a mixing bowl.
- Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp dried yeast and 320ml warm water.
- Mix until mixture comes together.
- Cover the bowl with cling film.
- Leave it for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
When ready to bake:
- Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
- Get your child to tip the dough onto a baking tray and shape it into a big sausage (Tip: they might find it easier - and more fun - if they paint their hands with oil first as the dough will be sticky.)
- Get them to use a pastry brush to paint water all over the dough. This is to give it a crusty crust.
- Then bake it for 25 minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it.
This makes a baguette for 4 people. Halve the quantities for a smaller loaf.
Check out second in our Lazy Bread series: Sesame Burger Buns.