How To Make Bread



Make This Loaf Well…

…and you will have mastered the basic techniques for any future yeast-based bread that you will make. You can quickly develop a range of loaves that add variety to any meal and can complement any dish you want. Why not a cheese and onion loaf to accompany a nice beef soup, or a black-pepper and salt flake topped loaf with sun-dried tomatoes to accompany a basic pasta sauce?

Ingredients

  • 500 grams strong white flour
  • 300 grams water – 200 grams from the tap, rest from a freshly boiled kettle
  • 10 grams salt
  • 10 grams fast action yeast
  • A little vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Dissolve the salt in the water.
  2. Mix the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add most of the salt water to the flour and yeast.
  4. Stir the flour and water together until a rough dough starts to come together.
  5. Add the rest of the water, continuing to stir, until the dough has picked up all the flour.
  6. Rub the dough around the bowl until the bowl is clean
  7. Pour a tablespoonful of oil on a work surface, and spread it thinly
  8. Work the dough by holding the closest edge and pushing the rest away with the heel of your other hand.
  9. Fold the further edge back to the closest edge and rotate 90 degrees
  10. Repeat from step 8 until the dough becomes smooth and non-sticky
  11. Pour a teaspoon of oil in the mixing bowl
  12. Fold the dough into a ball, and place in the mixing bowl, turning the dough to cover with the oil
  13. Cover bowl with a lid or tea-towel and leave for an hour or until doubled in size
  14. Press the dough down with your fist and then shape into a ball, making sure that any edges that you bring together are sealed
  15. Place the dough, sealed edges down, on a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray
  16. Place the baking tray in a cold oven, with a small bowl of boiling water to keep the oven moist and warm. This stops the surface of the dough drying out, and allows it to expand.
  17. Once the dough has again risen, which will not take as long this time, take it out of the oven and keep in a draught-free place whilst you heat the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade (unless you have a separate oven, in which case you can put the loaf straight into the oven. Either way, when you have a hot oven, put the loaf in to bake for thirty minutes.
  18. After thirty minutes, test the loaf by tapping it on the bottom, and it should sound hollow.
  19. Allow to cool for at least an hour on a wire rack, before cutting, buttering and tasting!

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