Thursday, 1 March 2012

Basic Loaf


Basic Loaf 

I have baked this recipe so many times and it really works!! As long as the total amount of the flour is 500g, the combination of whole meal and white flour can vary.  Ultimate formula!  :)


Ingredients 
  • 500g Strong Bread flower ( e.g. 400g Strong white + 100g strong wholemeal )
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • up to 350ml lukewarm water
  • a little sunflower oil , for greasing 
Method
  1. Make the dough by tipping the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and making a well in the middle. Pour in most of the water and use your fingers or a wooden spoon to mix the flour and water together until combined to a slightly wet, pillowy, workable dough - add a splash more water if necessary. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 mins until smooth and elastic. This can also be done in a tabletop mixer with a dough hook. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size.
  2. Heat oven to 220C/ fan 200C/ gas 7. Knock back the dough by tipping it back onto a floured surface and pushing the air out. Mould the dough into a rugby ball shapes and place them on a baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 30 mins. Dust the top of the loaf with a little more flour and slash the top with a sharp knife if you want.
  3. Pour hot water onto the bottom of the oven or into a dish at the bottom of the oven to create steam. 
  4. Bake the bread for 15 mins, then reduce the heat to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and continue to bake for 30 mins until the loaf sounds hollow when removed from the oven and tapped on the base. Leave the bread on a wire rack to cool completely. The loaf will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3 days or can be frozen for 1 month.