Ask a Kigali Mom - Homemade Bread

If you've got some spare time on your hands, it's worth putting it towards making your own, fresh homemade bread. With this super easy recipe, you can make two great loaves of white bread using cheap ingredients found locally. It may take a few tries to perfect your bread making skills, but once you've mastered them the experience is a great parent & child kitchen activity. 

Tip: Watch some YouTube videos first to improve your bread kneading technique. 

A huge thank you to culinary goddess and bread hero Delia Smith, whose bread recipes have given me joy and success many times over. This is her bread recipe for a plain white bread


Plain White Bread

(Makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 425ml of hand-hot water
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 level teaspoons dried yeast
  • 700g white flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt (or less according to taste)
  • 10g of butter
  • A little extra flour
  • Two 450g loaf tins, well buttered.

Steps:

Pour 150 ml of the hand-hot water into a bowl, then whisk in the sugar, followed by the dried yeast. Set the mixture aside for 10 or 15 minutes whilst it froths. 

Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter. Pour the frothy yeast into a well made in the centre of the flour. Then pour in the remaining 275ml of warm water.

Mix to a dough, starting off with a wooden spoon and using your hands in the final stages of mixing. (Tip: You can flour your hands to stop the dough sticking so much to them). 

Wipe the bowl clean with the dough, adding more water if there are any dry bits left. Transfer the dough to a flat work surface and knead for 10 minutes. It should be springy and elastic. (Tip: You might like to use flour on the work surface to ease the kneading process, and flour or butter your hands to stop the sticking). 

 Pre-kneaded dough

Pre-kneaded dough

 Post-kneaded dough

Post-kneaded dough

Leave the dough to rise. You can leave it on the surface covered by an upturned bowl, or place it back in the bowl and cover. Leave it until it looks as though it has doubled in size. The process is quicker if left in a warm place, but should take between 1 and 2 hours. 

 Dough left to rise

Dough left to rise

After that, knock the air out of the dough (punch it a bit), then knead again for 5 minutes. Now divide the dough in half, pat each piece out to an oblong, then fold one end in to the centre and fold the other end in on top.

Put each one into a buttered tin, sprinkle each load with a dusting of flour, then place them side by side in an oiled polythene bag until the dough rises above the tops of the tins. Again, this is quicker in a hot place but should take around an hour. 

 Dough before second rise

Dough before second rise

 Dough after second rise

Dough after second rise

Meanwhile, pre heat the oven to 230 degrees C.

When the dough has risen, bake the loaves for 35-40 minutes. To check whether it is cooked, you can remove the bread from its tin and tap the base. It should sound hollow if cooked. You can return them, out of their tins, if you'd like the base and side to be crisp.

Then leave to cool on a wire rack and voila, homemade bread! 

 Finished bread

Finished bread