Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Basic Bread Recipe

This recipe is lucky enough to be featured in a recipe book produced by a good friend of mine in aid of SANDS. You can read more about the book here and buy it from here

This is my base bread recipe which I amend to suit my needs. I bake fresh every 2 days, and this quantity makes 1 x 2lb loaf and 8 large soft bread rolls. There is a flickr slideshow at the bottom of the page which shows each step :)

1kg strong bread flour,
1 sachet quick start yeast,
15g salt,
up to 600ml lukewarm water,
1tbsp veg oil
1 yeast starter (more info on this later)

Mix all dry ingredients then add water gradually until the dough comes together without being too wet. The dryer the dough whilst being cohesive , the easier it is to knead. Knead for 10 mins until dough is elasticy. The kneading is the most important part as this develops the gluten which gives a good loaf it's texture. If you skimp on the kneading then you'll end up with a brick ;)

I've started using the slap and fold kneading technique which works a treat and amuses the kids at the same time. Ten minutes of this type of kneading gives you lovely elastic satiny dough.

Before you leave the dough to rise, pinch off a little bit (about a tbspsworth) and put in a sealed pot in the fridge to keep for a starter next time

Roll dough into a rough ball and place in a lightly oiled large bowl, cover tightly with clingfilm and put a tea towel over - or cover with a cloth and then a binbag, leave in a warm draught free spot for approx an hour and a half (may take longer)till doubled in size.

**If you have the time, knock the dough back and place back into oiled bowl and leave to prove again. This helps the gluten to develop and gives a nice texture to the end crumb. I sometimes do this 2 or 3 times before shaping into loaves. It' s not necessary though and a single proving will work lovely**

Knock air out and shape into loaf and rolls. Cover loaf with a cloth and leave for 45 mins while heating oven to 200. If making soft rolls cover with clingfilm (I reuse the clingfilm from the bowl) and then a cloth. This helps to keep the dough moist. They should double in size again.

Remove cloth and clingfilm and cook at 200 for 15 mins. I cook rolls on the bottom shelf and the loaf on the middle. Remove rolls now and place on cooling rack, turn heat down to 150 and give loaf another 20 minutes. Loaf should sound hollow when knocked on the bottom.

Leave to cool for 30 minutes at least before slicing.

No comments:

Post a Comment