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I always thought that baking bread was a daunting task, and if we step back a bit and look into the ‘Artisan Realm’, it truly, truly is a magical skill. For those of us who don’t currently hold such a skill to be able to construct plaits, buns (wait, is this a hair tutorial now?), brioche, malted, goodness know what else, there is hope with this relatively fool proof recipe for an ‘Easy Bake White Loaf’. You don’t even need a bread tin! How about that?!
Please note that this recipe is not Gluten Free, however keep your eyes peeled for one of those coming soon!
What you need.
500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting.
2 tsp salt.
7g sachet fast-action yeast.
3 tbsp olive oil.
A baking tray.
Some bowls, spoons, and a little bit of muscle.
An afternoon, ideally (Well, 2-3 hours).
Mix together flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Once combined, make a little dip in the centre, and add the oil and water, and mix again. After some amount of time, you’ll notice the dough forming. When it’s compact enough to handle, tip it out onto chopping board or work surface. Once the dough is smooth, pop it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel or cling film, in ideally a dark place like a cupboard, for 1 hour until doubled in size.
TIP: If the dough gets a bit dry during mixing, just add a little water.
Ready to Bake.
Butter up a baking tray or use baking lining on top of one to sit the dough on for baking. Before doing so, “knock back” the dough (as if you’re just beating a little air back out of it from proving) and form into a ball shape (It made me think of a brain shape…). Place it on the baking tray to prove for yet another hour until it has one again doubled in size.
Heat up the oven, nice and hot, to 220C/200C for fan assisted/gas 7.
Before going in, dust the fluffed up ball of dough with some flour and using something sharp, cut a cross about into the top of it.
Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown.
To tell if the loaf is truly baked through, give it a little tap on the bottom after the bake time. If you hear a hollow “thunk” when you do so, it means it’s ready! Nice and airy in there.
Don’t panic about the shape of your doughball before baking. This is a rustic loaf! It’ll be delicious!
This dough is also great for baking individual burger buns/batches/baps/barms/any other word you want for a ball of bread?
Cool and Enjoy.
My favourite way to enjoy this is as above, with a generous topping of just simple, whole, butter. What’s yours?
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