White Bread

White Bread

Reliable White Bread (2 compact loaves)

 

I have mastered many things in the kitchen, however bread has always been a sticking point for me.  I tend to over knead my dough, get carried away with the tactile pleasure of pressing my fingers into the soft dough.... and as a result end up with what can only be described as lovely smelling concrete.

This recipe is from around 1940, commended to me by someone who has bread skills galore.  It works for me, I hope it works for you too.

 

500 grams bakers 00 flour

1 teaspoon of salt

250mls warm water

1 flat tablespoon of yeast (the dry yeast is fine)

1 teaspoon of sugar

Pre-heat oven to 100°C.

 

Warm one small and one large mixing bowl in a low oven for about 5 minutes.

In the small bowl, add the yeast, sugar and water to the small bowl and allow the yeast to develop, sitting it in a warm place (not in the oven).

In the large mixing bowl, sift in the flour and add the salt, form a well in the middle, warm in the low oven until the yeast is ready.

 

Once the yeast is blooming pour the mixture into the flour and mix in well, by hand.  The mixture should be warm, not sticky, but not crumbly either.   Knead for about 5 minutes, then cover the bowl with a clean damp teatowel and leave for an hour to allow the dough to double in size.

 

Now increase the oven to 200°C.

Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface, knead again, for about 5 minutes then divide into two loaves and place in well greased, floured and warmed loaf tins.   I have used a small sealed loaf tin with a solid lid which makes a plain but reliable rectangular loaf.  If preferred, score the tops of the loaves, add seeds, oats or just some extra flour to the tops of the loaves.  Leave to prove for a further 30 minutes.

Place in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to around 165°C until the loaves are cooked through.

 White Bread

To test if loaves are done:

- tap the base, it should sound hollow.

- dough should be well risen, no sunken sections

- crust should be crisp and golden brown with a little bit of cracking just starting to appear.

 

Eat warm with lashings of butter, or store in a dry cool place for fab sandwiches and tremendous toast.