Zero Waste Living: Learning to make bread from scratch

 

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One of Dan’s gorgeous home-baked loaves

One thing that had previously been tough to make zero waste in my life was bread.

I love bread, I love carbs, and I eat a lot of it. But how do you get bread without the plastic packaging it comes in?

You have two choices: Either find a bakery that will allow you to bring your own cloth bag to put loaves in, or make it yourself.

Luckily for me, my boyfriend Dan has been making his own bread for years, and when I moved over to the UK to live with him in August, he began teaching me how to make my own loaves too.

Now I’m going to share the recipe I use with you. It’s super easy, and doesn’t take too long either.

This video footage I used with the video above is from my first ever attempt, and I can promise you I’ve gotten better since then!

For a simple loaf, you will need:

  • a loaf tin
  • two bowls
  • 500g of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 15g of yeast
  • a touch of sugar
  • 300ml of lukewarm water
  • 4 tablespoons of lukewarm milk (I used soya milk)

First you’ll need to lightly grease the tin.

Next create your yeast mixture by mixing the 15g of yeast with 180ml of the lukewarm water and a touch of sugar (to feed the yeast) and stirring together until it’s combined. Leave that to sit for five to ten minutes until the yeast is ready.

Mix the 500g of flour and 2tsp of salt together in another bowl.

Create a well in the centre and pour the yeast mixture into there.

Mix in a little flour, making a bit of a batter, then sprinkle some more of the flour from the outside edges over the mixture to cover the liquid, then leave to “sponge” for about 20 minutes.

Add the milk and mix to form the dough.

Get your dough out onto a flour-covered surface and knead for 10 minutes.

Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and leave to rise for at about 1 hour.

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One of Dan’s gorgeous home-baked loaves

Knock back the dough and shape into the tin, before leaving it to rise for another 20-30 minutes.

Use a sharp knife to make a deep, central slash, dust with flour, and leave for another 10-15 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes at 230 degrees Celsius, then reduce the oven to 200 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes more, until the bread is golden.

And there you go – you just learnt how to make your own bread!

*Note: Yes, I’ve only used photos of loaves Dan has baked in this blog post, because let’s be honest: At this stage they’re much more aesthetically pleasing than the ones I’ve baked!

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Books about Zero Waste that I love:

Note: Some of these are affiliate links. I only ever affiliate myself with products and companies that I believe in and either use, or would use, myself.

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

Plastic-Free by  Beth Terry

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