This recipe first appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of Virtuous Bread magazine.
Yeast is full of vitamin B and you need vitamin B when you have a hangover to help your liver cope with all the booze it’s processing. You could take a tablet (who has those?). You could drink more beer (depends on how hungover you are). You could eat a spoonful of yeast (you may vomit). You could eat some great, yeasty bread. You may want to make this in advance to eat the morning after the night before or you may want to make it and slice it up and pop it in the freezer ready to toast in an emergency hangover situation. It is brilliant on it’s own and even better wrapped around a fried egg or bacon or forming part of a fry up. Good bread: an essential part of your hangover cure. No additives to give your liver even more to cope with!
600 grams of white bread flour
400 mls of water that is “blood temperature” ie you stick your finger into the measuring jug and you can hardly feel the water
1 sachet of instant yeast or 14 grams of dried active yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil (in extremis any oil will do) for that spongey texture you want if you are hungover (and sometimes even if you are not)
If you are using instant yeast, pour all ingredients into a big bowl and then mix them together with your hands. Tip the mixture out onto a flat surface and knead this dough together for 10 minutes by hand. Don’t add more water – the dough will be a bit sticky.
Place the kneaded dough back in the original mixing bowl and cover it with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and let it sit around in the kitchen for one hour or so (until it has doubled in size). Go back to bed at this point with cups of tea and some aspirin.
After an hour or so, squish the dough down and give it another quick knead. If you are baking “free form” (ie on a baking tray) shape it into a sausage or form it into a big ball, put it on some baking parchment on the baking tray and cover it with cling film again and leave it for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size again. If you are baking in a tin, grease the tin with butter (hard fat is better than soft oil as it prevents the bread from frying in the pan) put the dough in. Shape the dough so that it is as wide as the baking tin but only fills the tin to 1/3-1/2 of it’s depth. Cover it in cling film and leave it for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in bulk. Go back to bed again with the papers and more cups of tea.
Once 45 minutes have gone by, turn the oven on to 200 degrees celcius and, when it is ready, put your bread in the oven and bake it for 45 minutes. If you have a fan assisted oven this may take only 30 minutes. To test whether your bread is done, take it out of the oven (out of the tin if it is in one) and tap the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow it is done. If it sounds stodgy it probably is still stodgy – so put it in for another 5 minutes.
While the bread is cooling (it needs to cool a bit!) make your fry up.
Eat fry up with fresh, warm, yeasty bread.