Basic Bread Loaf

If I were to take one positive from lockdown (apart from developing a mild obsession with basil cuttings and consequently becoming a proud parent to a basil family – more on that soon), it’s that I have rediscovered my passion for baking bread. A number of years back, The Great British Bakeoff was what inspired me to branch out of the cake world, dangerously diving head-first into an eight-stranded plaited loaf, but in recent weeks, it’s been the simplicity of baking a simple loaf on a Sunday to last through the week that I have loved. Cutting the crust off the end of the steaming hot loaf and gobbling in seconds with lashings of butter is something Nan and I have looked forward to every week!

Ingredients

  • 300g strong white bread flour
  • 300g wholemeal or wholegrain flour (or whatever you can find)
  • 1x 7g sachet of fast-action yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ~400ml tepid water
  • A few glugs of oil to grease the bowl/loaf tin
  • Extra plain flour for dusting

Method

  1. Lightly grease a large bowl and set to the side
  2. In a second bowl, mix the two flours together then add the salt and yeast
  3. Slowly add the water, mixing together with a knife (I find a pallet knife works well here, but a normal dinner knife will do)
  4. Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured, clean surface – it may not have come together fully at this point, but don’t worry! (see pic below)
  5. Kneed for around 10 minutes until you have a smooth, stretchy dough – to begin with it might feel a little sticky, but keep going, it will come together
  6. Place in the greased bowl, loosely cover with cling film, and leave to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour until doubled in size – in the summer months, outside is your best bet; a sunny window-sill will do if not
  7. Tip the risen dough onto a light floured surface, kneeding gently to knock the air back, shape into a loaf size, and place into a lightly greased large loaf tin. Cover loosely with your greased clingfilm, and leave to rise in a warm spot for another 30 mins
  8. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius (200 for a fan oven)
  9. Remove the clingfilm, dust with flour, and bake for 25-30 mins (you’ll know it’s done if it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of the loaf)
  10. Leave to cool (or slice the end off, drench in butter, consume AND THEN leave the rest to cool!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s