baking bread

by Lauren Bravo

For even the most hands-on of foodies, baking bread can still be a scary prospect. But it doesn’t need to be! To get you started, here are the easiest breads on the block…

Flatbread

As getting a good rise is often the most daunting prospect of breadmaking, try taking yeast out of the equation altogether with a bread that’s intentionally flat as a pancake. There are thousands of centuries-old variations on flatbread recipes from across the world, but they start as simple as: flour, water, a pinch of salt and a little olive oil.

Jamie’s super-quick Navajo flatbreads are a perfect place to start; fluffy-centred and hot from the griddle, they’re perfect for mopping up curries, soups, dips or even a hearty breakfast.

Soda bread

Legendary cookery writer Elizabeth David believed, “everyone who cooks, in however limited a way, should know how to make a loaf of soda bread.” Fans of this Irish favourite’s dense, cakey texture and nutty flavour will agree.

Using bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk as a raising agent instead of yeast also makes soda bread one of the speediest, easiest loaves around. With no need for kneading or proving it’s the perfect choice for impatient bakers, and will be ready before you can say, “pass the butter.” Spread liberally and enjoy.

Cornbread

Another ‘quick bread’ that’s great for rookie bakers to rustle up, cornbread is a soul food staple in southern America. Made with cornmeal and leavened with baking powder, it has a sweetness and rustic crumb structure almost like a sponge cake (who said you couldn’t have cake for dinner?), and a glorious bright yellow colour that will cheer up any table.

Pair it with heat and strong flavours, as in Jamie’s chilli cheese cornbread recipe, and let the compliments roll in.

A basic loaf

The fuss-free alternatives are all very well, but we still say nothing beats a proper crusty loaf, fresh from the oven.

So roll up your sleeves and give it a try! Follow clear, step-by-step instructions like Jamie’s basic bread recipe, allow yourself plenty of time for proving the dough in a warm, dry spot, and release any pent-up energy with some enthusiastic kneading.

There aren’t many bad days and bad moods that can’t be improved by pummelling a good dough for five minutes. And tucking into the results afterwards, of course. 

Flour Station

About the author

The Flour Station grew out of the basement of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant. We soon ran out of space and branched out to our own bakery premises. Not long after that, we set up our first stall at Borough Market and since then we’ve been baking our delicious sourdough breads for top notch café, delis and restaurants across London as well as our weekly market stalls. We’re firm believers in doing things the old fashioned slow way when it comes to making our breads. Each one has a natural yeast starter and the dough is given all the time it needs to develop its wonderful texture and flavour, which may mean the best part of a whole day. Once ready, the dough is divided and shaped by hand and baked in a stone based oven. This intricate process produces a sensational loaf with a good crust, a tasty crumb and a depth of flavour and texture unparalleled in conventional bread. We share our passion for real bread with top chefs and a loyal band of customers who return week after week to our market stalls. We draw inspiration from both when it comes to developing new breads, experimenting with new ingredients and new ideas as well as resurrecting forgotten classic British bakery favourites. Through this blog we hope to share with you the ups and downs, highs and lows, questions and answers that come our way whilst we continue to bake our lovely breads.

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