If you’ve read my DIY Flatbreads recipe you’ll know exactly how I feel about baking bread and in particular my thoughts towards Paul Hollywood. However with bake off back on the TV menu I thought I’d face my demons with another bread challenge. This time the simple white loaf.
This recipe, although inspired by bake off is actually from River Cottage. I know total shocker cause I’ve never used one of their recipes before! (bit of sarcasm for you there just in case you missed it) The original recipe can be found here.
- 1KG Strong White Bread Flour
- 10g fast action yeast
- 15g fine salt
- 1-2 tbsp oil
- 600ml warm water
- combine flour, yeast and salt
- add oil
- add water
- stir to create sticky dough
- turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. This should involved pushing the dough away from you with the heel of one hand whilst holding onto the dough with the other hand. Then pull the dough back towards you rolling it as you go. The idea is to increase the elasticity of the dough as you knead it. A great video for this is The Bread Kitchen on you tube.
- when dough is elastic and smooth form a ball and coat lightly with oil
- place dough in a clean bowl and cover with cling film or a clean bin liner and place somewhere warm for 1 1/2 hours after one and a half hours dough should have doubled in size
- tip onto lightly floured surface and “knock back”.
- Knocking back is where you take your fingers and press them into the dough to “de-flate” it.
- re-shape the dough into two neat rounds
- place on a lightly floured board to prove for 45 minutes. During this time the dough should double in size.
- Whilst dough is proving pre-heat oven to GM9 or 250oc or whatever your highest setting is.
- place a tray into the oven to warm up
- make a cup of tea/coffee/pint of vodka – seriously this is a genuine step required you’ll make much better bread if your chilled!
- Once proved sprinkle your warm/hot tray with flour and place rounds (one at a time) onto the tray.
- slash the tops of the loaves with a serrated knife
- bake for 10 minutes at the high temp then turn down to GM5 190oc for 30 minutes
- the loaf should have browned and become crisp and when you pick it up and tap its bottom (ooooh I feel all 50 shades of grey) it should sound hollow.
tadaaaaah! you’ve mastered the loaf!