Ever since Christmas & my Birthday in January – I have had an abundance of recipe books that I’ve been dying to get stuck into. In particular, I really want to get into making more breads. So! I dug out a fantastic book called Bread Revolution which boasts tons of lovely bread recipes. This is the first time I have used it but will definitely be using it again as the step by step features & helpful hints the whole way through are just great!
Here is what you will need to make an 800g (2lb) split tin loaf.
- 500g Strong White Bread Flour
- 10g Salt
- 10g Fast Action Yeast
- 300ml Cold Water
- 5tsp Olive Oil
- Milk (for glazing)
- 2lb (800g) Loaf Tin
In a large bowl, add the flour & the salt. Mix together then add in the yeast and mix again. Make a well in the centre and add in the olive oil and 3 quarters of the water.
Note: Using cold water will lengthen the proving process but this actually makes the flavour ten times better!
Mix the ingredients until they start to come together – add more water if you need to. To be honest, the wetter the dough the better. Just don’t add loads of water as you don’t want it seriously sticky.
Lightly oil your work surface & place on the dough. Yes oil – NOT flour. Flour will incorporate itself into the dough which will ruin the balance of ingredients. Oil will simply stop it from sticking.
In 90° turns – fold the outside edges inwards. Coating the dough in oil. Then knead well for a good 10-15 minutes. The dough should end up being soft, stretchy and smooth. When you can stretch the dough quite far & thin without it tearing – it’s ready. Roll into a ball and place in a lightly oiled large bowl.
Cover with either a damp tea towel or greased cling film and leave to prove until at least doubled in size. (Approx 1-2 hours.)
Now you need to knock back the dough. Simply punch the dough down and then fold the outside edges into the middle to remove all the air pockets that were created during proving.
Turn the dough ball upside down (so the folds are tucked underneath) and now you are ready for shaping.
Flatten the dough into a rectangle then fold the sides in and seal by pressing with your knuckles. Then bring the top and bottom into the middle (like an envelope) and seal again. Flip the dough over and place into a lightly oiled loaf tin. (I used a stone pan so floured instead of oiled.)
Loosely cover again with a tea towel or greased cling film and leave to rise to about two thirds it’s original size. (About an hour.)
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250°C/Fan 230°C and place a roasting tin at the bottom of the oven.
Once the bread has risen to the right size, brush the top with some milk and cut a line running straight through the middle of the loaf. Try not to cut as deep as I did though lol – I got a bit carried away!
Place the loaf into the oven and throw either a handful of ice cubes or a glass of cold water into the hot roasting tray and quickly shut the door. This will create steam which will help to get a better rise from your bread.
After 10 minutes – reduce the temperature to 230°C/Fan 210°C and open the oven to let out the steam.
Bake for a further 15- 20 minutes.
Once the loaf is cooked & you have a gloriously golden crust – remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before attempting to slice. I know it’s hard but it will be worth it!
I absolutely adore home made bread. Even bad home made bread is a million times tastier than shop bought! And there’s something so satisfying about knowing that you have created something so gorgeous from next to nothing with your bear hands.
I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies!
Until we meet again