Sunday, 20 March 2011
A Lovely Loaf of Bread
I have baked a lot of bread before, no knead bread, one hour bread, soda bread, potato bread and various other things which have been eaten too quickly to blog about. But I never seem to get around to cooking a normal white loaf, you know one you can slice and use for sandwiches and toast. I guess because it is easy to get supermarket bread for that and make fancy bread homemade. But really baking an everyday loaf is really satisfying because you can include in your everyday meals to make them more interesting.
This recipe has more water in than normal bread doughs and I proved it once for an hour, and second in the loaf tin for 45 minutes. This mean it was moist, very well risen and airy, I think if I'd left it the second time for another 15 minutes it would have bloomed a bit higher. I sprinkled it with poppyseeds for extra crunch and prettiness.
Simple White Loaf
makes one small loaf
300g (2.5 cups) of strong white bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
3/4 tablespoon of salt
1 flat tablespoon of instant yeast
1 tablespoon of olive oil
150ml of warm water
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre and add the oil and water. Slowly incorporate the flour into the well until it combines fully, mix to a fairly sticky dough. Flour a board well and knead the loaf for a few minutes until it is smooth, you may need to keep adding flour to stop it being too sticky.
Put into a large clean bowl dusted with flour, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
After an hour turn the dough out and knock it back, kneading lightly for a minute. Then shape into a rough loaf shape and pop into a floured loaf tin. Prove again for 45 minutes to 1 hour in a warm place, covered with a tea towel. Preheat your oven to 180c / gas mark 4 before the proving is nearly up.
Once proved slash the top with a sharp knife, about 3 or 4 slashes should do. This will allow the loaf to rise and air to escape during cooking. Dab with some water or brush with milk and sprinkle on about 1 teaspoon of poppyseeds.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes in the middle of the oven.
Remove from the oven, grab the butter, slice and spread and EAT!
I think this bread would take really well to other flavourings such as cheese, herbs, sundried tomatoes, whatever you can think of. Sesame seeds and a drizzle of oil would be an nice twist too. The possibilities!
I toasted it the next day and spread it with honey, it toasts extremely well.