White Bread (Makes 1 x 750g loaf tin)
- 12g fresh yeast
- 500ml water (20-30 degrees celcius, no warmer)
- 750g plain white flour (I prefer organic)
- 20g butter, (preferably unsalted but not essential)
- 17g fine salt
- Activate yeast in a little of the water, mixing to a paste
- Add rest of water and stir evenly
- Using a mixing bowl, add yeast and water to the flour and mix in, either by hand, wooden spoon or a mixing machine. (Currently I use a wooden spoon until I get a kitchen aid…)
- Melt butter and add to the dough and mix in
- Add salt to the dough and mix in
- At this stage, the dough should be slightly wet and sticky to touch. Certainly shouldn’t be dry. If too sticky/wet, a little flour can be added at the next stage
- Turn dough out onto a clean, dry work surface. If too sticky to touch, add a little more flour
- Knead by hand or at a medium to low speed in a mixer for 5 mins
- Form into a ball shape and put back in the mixing bowl
- Dust the dough lightly with flour and cover with a kitchen cloth
- Place in a warm area no more than 30c and leave to prove until double the size
- When proven, turn out onto a clean, dry work surface and “knock back” the dough. This means knead the dough again for a minute
- Form into a loaf shape and dust lightly with flour
- Grease and lightly flour a loaf tin
- Carefully place the bread into the tin and cover with a kitchen cloth to prove for the 2nd time until double in size
- Pre-heat the oven to 225c / 435f/ gas mark 7
- When the bread has proved, place in the oven at a medium height with an oven proof container of boiling water on the lower shelf under the bread to create steam in the oven
- Bake for approx 50 mins until a good colour is achieved.
- Remove bread from the loaf tin and replace in oven on the shelf to finish the cooking for a further 20-30 mins
- Leave on a cooling rack for 10-15 mins before slicing and eating
To check the bread is cooked, there should be a hollow sound when you flick the base and sides of the loaf. if a dull thudding sound, then continue to cook for a while longer. Also there should be hardly any “give” when you apply pressure or squeeze the bottom or sides of the loaf.
Left in a food safe container with lid, consume within 2 days max, ideally within 24 hrs for best results.
Will freeze very well once sliced in a food safe container layered between food safe paper with lid on if frozen same day it was baked.