Sunday, February 2, 2014

Basic White Bread

The following is the recipe I use on a weekly basis to make the loaf of bread for the week. Sometimes I substitute one or two cups of the flour with wholemeal flour. It usually comes out nice and soft, and always yummy.

Ingredients3⅓ cups flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp bread improver (a soy flour blend)
10g salt
2 tbps olive oil
1½ cups water

Mix the dry ingredients together in the bowl.

Make a well and pour in the oil and water.

Mix with fingertips until combined.

Take combined dough out and start kneading on a bench
(it will be sticky to start off with but should get less sticky as it
combines properly - if it does not just add some more flour).

If your hands look like this then it's probably too sticky
(unless you're making a sticky dough like foccacia or brioche).
Keep kneading until the dough is nice and stretchy.
Pour some oil into the mixing bowl.
Form the dough into a ball
(grab the underneath and pull it over the top while turning).

Use the ball to spread the oil around the bowl and
then flip it over into the bowl so the oily side is up.
Leave to rest in a warm place until it doubles in size
(about an hour).

Poof! Now punch it gently to knock the air out of it.
Grab two sides to make a log and...
... place in the tin, squishing it down flat.
Leave to rise in the tin (about 45 minutes).
Preheat your oven to 200ºC about 30 minutes in.
Don't let it rise above the top of the tin unless you
want a very tall loaf.
If it does rise too far just slash it across the top diagonally
(very quickly with a very sharp knife).
Bake for 50 minutes at 200ºC until good and brown.
The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow (and not too dull) when tapped.
(the light makes it look lighter than it was, especially the next shot)
The finished loaf!
Cool on a wire rack.
I store my loaves at room temperature in a plastic container.

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