The smell of freshly baked bread is delicious and whets our appetite. Baking your own bread is not only satisfying, but also you can make sure you use top quality ingedients with no additives or extra 'surprises'.
500 grams Strong White bread flour
1 teaspoon fast-action yeast
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoon Rape Seed oil (or any good oil)
300 mls water (hand hot will make proving time faster)
- Put flour, yeast, salt into a large bowl and mix well.
- Make well in centre. Add water and oil.
- Bring dry ingredients into wet with dough scraper and mix thoroughly.
- If at this stage the dough looks too dry, add more water but only 1 tablespoon at a time. The mix should be soft and elastic.
- Turn out on to work surface and knead the dough until smooth. If your dough is wet, avoid the temptation to throw down lots of flour. Use the dough scraper to turn and roll it on the work surface, dust your hands with flour and then continue. If it begins to feel wet again, just repeat the process. It will come good and you will have a better ‘crumb’ from a wet dough than you will from a ‘tight’ or dry dough. This kneading this will take about 5 – 10 minutes. You can use an electric mixer with a dough hook.
- Put back into bowl and cover with tea towel/plastic bag/clingfilm and leave to double in size. The time this takes depends on the warmth of the place you put it in. You can even leave it in the fridge overnight for a long slow fermentation. This breaks down the wheat protein more effectively.
- Knock back and form into the final shapes if free-form loaf or rolls or put into 500g/1lb loaf tin.
- Leave to prove until doubled in size. Once again, the time it takes depends on the temperature. Allow 30 mins to 1 hour (unless putting in fridge as before – then it can be overnight).
- Bake in preheated oven at 200C/Gas Mark 6.
Cooking time: 500g loaf: 35 – 40mins; rolls 12-15 mins