Basic White Loaf

I'm normally one to spend days on end baking cakes and other sweet treats of similar form. However, recently I've ventured into the unknown (for me!) territory of bread baking. I don't quite know how I've avoided making my own bread until now, but after discovering how easy and cheap it is to 'BYOB' (Bake Your Own Bread) I will definitely keep up the hobby.




Not only does it save you money, I think there is nothing better than to come home to the smell of a fresh loaf of bread baking in the oven. And let's face it, homemade aways tastes that extra bit better.

Here is my recipe for a basic white loaf of bread!

Ingredients:

- 500g strong white flour
- 1x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
- A couple of pinches of salt
- Around 350ml of lukewarm water


1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl, then make a well in the middle of the mixture.

2. Pour in around half of the water, and mix the flour in well. Keep adding more water until all of the flour comes off of the sides of the bowl, and until you get a good doughy texture. If it's still too dry, add a bit more water, if it's too wet, add more flour.

3. Dust a clean surface with flour, then start to knead the dough well for about 10-15 minutes.

4. Place the dough in a large clean bowl, cover with clingfilm, and leave to rise for around 1 and a half hours.

5. After an hour and a half, the dough should have doubled in size- if not more. Place the dough onto a surface and knock the air out before kneading for another couple of minutes.

6. Shape the dough however you like and place in a loaf tin or on a tray. Cover again and leave for 30 minutes to prove.

7. Dust the top of th bread lightly with flour then bake for around 15 or 20 minutes at the high temperature, then drop the heat to 180C and bake for another 30 minutes. When ready, the bread should have a hollow sound when tapped. 

The bread will last for around 3 or 4 days. Although it's one of the simplest recipes around, it tastes delicious and is one of those home comforts you can never get bored with.



Enjoy!
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