Homebaked bread

After catching up on the Great British Bake Off while nursing a red wine hangover on the sofa this weekend, the OH and I felt inspired to get baking. Which as it turns out, is an excellent distraction from that dull thudding headache and sense of despair! As you may have seen from my previous post, we made spiced blueberry buns but we also decided to try our hands at baking some bread.

We are both bread novices so were looking for something relatively straightforward to start off with. I decided to give Paul Hollywood’s easy white bread recipe from BBC Food a go.

This calls for;

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 40g soft butter
  • 12g fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Around 300ml tepid water
  • A little olive oil

Combine the flour and butter in a bowl then add the yeast at one side and salt at the other (you don’t want to mix the salt directly with the yeast as it will kill it). Mix ingredients together. Add around half of the water and mix with your hands. Continue to add the water a little at a time while combining the mixture with your hands. We found we didn’t quite need all the water. Once the mixture resembles a soft dough, rub a little oil on a clean surface and turn the dough out. Knead the bread (see the BBC recipe from the link above for a good description of the technique!)

Note, these are not my manly hands

Clean and lightly oil your bowl then put your dough back in. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove. The dough should have doubled in size after around an hour.

Work the dough again to knock out any air then shape into a loaf. Place the loaf on lined baking tray and cover with your tea towel again to prove further. Once it has risen again, sprinkle with flour and use a knife to create a pattern on top. Place the loaf in the oven at 220c. The recipe gave the top tip of putting another roasting tin in the bottom of the oven and filling it with cold water just as you close the door –  this creates steam which helps the loaf develop a crisp and shiny crust.

Bake for around 30 minutes until golden.

I was very impressed with how it turned out, if I do say so myself! I’d actually planned to add a little rosemary to the loaf but was so concentrated on all that kneading and proving I completely forgot. Now that I know how to make a basic loaf though, I’m looking forward to being able to customise it in all sorts of ways!

We ate ours with some homemade summer vegetable broth for a really wholesome nourishing tea, just what the doctor ordered!


4 Comments on “Homebaked bread”

  1. Looks fab’ (and bet it filled the house with yummy smells!)

    My Dad has a lot of fun with Nigel Slater’s basic bread recipe.

  2. kellykenis says:

    That looks very impressive! I will certainly need to try it – and hopefully it will help me get over my worry over baking bread 🙂

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