I don’t know about you, but where I grew up every household bought staple food in bulk i.e. 12.5kg flour, 12.5kg maize meal, 12.5kg sugar etc. Okay, my mom still buys all staple food in bulk, hehe!
Bread was baked on a daily basis. We seldom bought bread from the store. We made bread in different forms i.e. amagwinya (fat cakes), udombolo (steam bread), iikuki /izikona /iirostile (roasted bread) and umbhako (baked bread). The latter was baked in flat cast iron pots over and under coals (because red-hot coals would be put over the lid while the pot would be standing on coals) or in wood/coal stove ovens. Few were families with wood /coal stoves. Some people still bake their own bread especially in the rural parts of the country. Big families buy flour in very large quantities eg.50kg. You can imagine how expensive it must be to buy bread to feed a family of 7 or more on a daily basis.
Some people seldom bake bread at home due to the convenience offered by store-bought bread, change in financial statuses, lack of time and lack of baking skill. With all that said, I can give you few reasons why you should bake your bread at home.
- The price aspect – I’m sure you’ll agree with me it is cheaper to make your own bread.
- Homemade bread is tastier.
- The aroma of the bread whilst baking in the oven stimulates one’s appetite.
- Having your bread baking in the oven keeps the kitchen warm, especially during these cold winter months.
- Children can get involved in the baking. It can be a fun activity for the whole family especially during the holidays. You might need something to keep them busy at home. This is it, isn’t it? He!
- Having the skill of baking your own bread at home is great nowadays, a lot of people are missing that. We’ve got to remember that we have to master these skills in order to pass them on to the next generation.
I baked bread for my family and my sister who was pregnant at the time. After a couple of weeks when I was back in Cape Town she sent me a text reading “hey, how did you make that bread? What did you add to it? I need that recipe.” I sent her the recipe and she baked the bread and it came out perfectly and delicious on her side too. I do buy store bread from time to time for convenience purposes, but I still manage to bake my own loaf from time to time. If I can do it, so why can’t you? Come on, join me and LET “S BAKE!
Home-made White Bread Recipe
Makes 1 small loaf
625ml (2½ cups) cake flour
5ml (1tsp) salt
10ml (2tsp) sugar
5ml (1tsp) instant dry yeast
15ml (1Tbsp) margarine
- Sift flour, salt and sugar into a bowl. Add the dry yeast and mix.
- Rub the margarine into the flour mixture.
- Gradually add lukewarm water and mix to form a soft dough.
- Knead the dough well for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, if necessary, and knead on the counter. (This is much easier)
- Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic/dish-towel and leave to rest in a warm place.
- After 30 -45 minutes knock down the dough and place it in a greased bread tin.
- Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until almost double in volume.
- Brush with water and bake at 180۫ for 35 minutes.
10. After taking out of the oven brush with sugar water while it is still hot.
For a bigger loaf just double the quantities.