Our daily bread

I do love fresh homemade bread and having made some lovely soup I thought what I needed with it was some fresh bread, straight from the oven…and that’s exactly what I did!

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I used a recipe from the latest Great British Bake Off Cook Book for ‘The Perfect White Loaf. It was pretty straightforward to make, though time consuming.  I think that is the downside to making your own bread, it takes ages to make and is demolished in minutes!!

 

The Perfect White Loaf

Ingredients

  • 700g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1x7g sachet Fast Action Yeast
  • 450ml Lukewarm Water
  1. Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add dried yeast. Mix well and then make a well in the centre
  2. Pour the lukewarm water into the well
  3. Mix the flour into the water to make a soft but not sticky dough. If there are dry crumbs or the dough feels stiff and dry, work in a little more lukewarm water, if it feels sticky and starts to stick to your fingers, work in a little more flour.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead thoroughly for 10 mins.
  5. Then gather the dough together back into a ball. Give it a quarter turn and repeat stretching and gathering back movements. It should start to feel pliable yet firm and look smooth and silky
  6. Return the dough to the bowl and cover. Leave to rise until double the size. (Takes about 1 hour in a warm kitchen, 2 hours in at room temperature and 3 hours in a cool larder or in the fridge overnight)
  7. Punch down the risen dough with your knuckles to deflate it. Turn it out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead gently for a minute so the gas bubbles are evenly distributed. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape each into a ball.
  8. Roll each ball around under your cupped hand until very smooth and neat, then set it on a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Dust with flour. Cover the loaves lightly and leave to rise until double in size (about 1 hour). Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven 230C/450F/Gas 8. Heat your baking sheets and put a roasting tin at the bottom of the oven.
  9. Uncover the loaves, sprinkle with a little more flour and slash with a knife. Transfer them onto the hot baking sheets and put in the oven. Pour a cup of cold water into the hot roasting tin to produce a burst of steam. Bake for 15 mins. Rotate the sheets if necessary. Then reduce the temperature to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and bake for a further 25 to 20 mins or until golden brown and the loaves have a hollow sound when tapped underneath
  10. Cool on a wire rack.

Just typing this post makes me hungry! Might have to go and bake some more!

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