Yeast-Free Civil War Bread

Here’s a story about civil war and bread.

In South Africa, 2021, civil war erupted.
A coordinated attack was launched on our supply chain of primary products, rendering most of KwaZulu Natal & Gauteng without petrol, food, mobility and safety.
Shops were looted and burned to the ground. Produce trucks were targeted. Breweries were ransacked and destroyed. It was pandemonium. Trade came to a stand-still.
At the time of writing this, the attacks continue.
To bridge a gap in resource availability, I decided to make bread for my neighbourhood. Seeing as no stores were open, I could not get yeast.
So I got to researching, and the following buttery sandwich loaf was born.

I sold 52 loaves, and the comments speak for themselves.

So, let me tell you how to make it.

600g cake wheat flour, sifted
12g white granulated sugar, sifted
3g fine white salt, sifted
40g baking powder, sifted
65ml extra virgin olive oil
15ml salted butter, melted for recipe
625ml full cream milk, room temperature
Melted butter, for finishing

1 very large mixing bowl, for the dry ingredients
1 medium sized mixing bowl, for the wet ingredients
1 scale
1 wooden spoon
1 spatula
1 basting brush
1 cup, to melt butter
1 bread pan
Aluminium foil
Heat-proof surface

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Brush a bread pan with butter.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until completely mixed.
4. In a different mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and give a gentle stir.
If the milk is not room temperature, the butter will harden and form pockets in your batter.
5. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients, and using a wooden spoon, stir until combined into a thick batter.
The batter will be sticky and wet – not remotely smooth. Do not panic if it looks too wet. If you stir until all the dry ingredients are incorporated, it will be okay.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and use the spatula clean out the batter properly.
7. Bake for 30 minutes on the top shelf at 200°C.
8. Reduce heat to 180°C, and opening the oven door momentarily for the following step should suffice.
9. Remove the bread from the oven, and cover the pan with aluminium foil.
It actually doesn’t matter what direction the foil faces. The foil will prevent burning and too much crusting from exposure to direct heat. If you want the crust even less brown and softer, put a layer of aluminium foil on the bottom shelf of your oven. It is best if you cover a flat baking tray with the foil to protect your oven element.
10. Bake the covered bread on the top shelf for 20 more minutes.
At about 5 minutes to go, melt extra butter for the crust of the loaf.
11. Remove from the baking pan, and brush the top and sides of the loaf thickly with melted butter.
12. Let the butter absorb into the crust, and cool to gently warm before eating.
Make sure to let cool at room temperature and in an aerated area to prevent sogginess. If you let cool in a storage container, the condensation of the steam will make the base of the loaf soggy. I let my cool on brown paper.

Enjoy, and I hope this helps you in the next apocalypse.

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