Sunday, February 16, 2014

Recipe: Simple White Loaf

Does what it says on the tin really- a nice simple loaf of white bread, home made, and really easy to make. People think bread takes ages to make, and that it's really difficult to prepare, but literally all this recipe involves is 15 minutes of knocking a dough mix about, 2 hours of proving (chucking it covered in a warm place and leaving it alone) and 43 minutes in the oven. Fairly cheap to make too- I calculated the cost of each loaf as about 45-50p, which is pretty good. I tried and adapted this recipe about 6 times before I got to this recipe, I think I've really got it down to a tee now. I never really used to be massively into bread, always preferring pasta and rice and other carbs, because I felt that bread didn't really taste of anything. But once you've made your own bread and tasted it you realise fresh bread is awesome.

Simple White Loaf Recipe (makes 1 medium loaf)

375g plain white flour
7g packet of dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
7g salt
15ml vegetable oil (plus a splash more for greasing the tin)
210g warm water
Optional garnishes: fennel seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds etc.

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Knead (knock about a bit!) for 15 minutes. Grease a Victoria sponge tin with a little vegetable oil. Put the kneaded dough into the greased tin, cover with a damp cloth, and put in a warm place for 2 hours to prove.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put the bread tin in a roasting tin, with 200ml of water in it (this steams the bread a bit and stops the top from burning). Sprinkle the top of the dough with seeds if desired, or keep it plain- and bake in the oven for 38 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven. Remove loaf from the tin, and put back in the oven, upside down, for 5 minutes (to brown and crisp up the bottom of the loaf slightly). Allow to cool a bit, slice and serve!

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