My Large Loaf!!
Hi, thank you for dropping by.
Today is my first day of blogging!!! I’m excited. I’m going to show you how to bake bread the easy way! The sun is shining, so that means my veggie plants & flowers need watering.
I love the early morning smell of the garden, the slight dampness of dew on the grass, the smell of my tomato plants as I brush past them…
Anyhow I’m waffling, you may find that happens a lot! Back to business. Hey, no, didn’t I say that “Feasting is Fun”??
Bread: that’s what I will be making this morning (with the aid of my bread maker). If you have a stand mixer that can do the same job as my bread maker.
Recipe for a Large White Loaf
4lb loaf tin, buttered.
1 1/2 sachets dried yeast or 15g fresh (or I’m using frozen) yeast.
1lb 8oz Strong White Flour
380-400ml Water (warm -body temp)
1 tsp Honey
2 tsp kosher salt
1 large (4lb) buttered loaf tin
Clean tea towel
Place most of the water (380ml) into a bowl (of stand mixer or bread maker if using), add yeast. Swish about a bit with clean fingers to mix the yeast into the water ( rub the fresh/frozen yeast through your fingers until it is dissolved into the water). Add the teaspoon of honey & set to one side whilst you weigh the flour.
Add the flour so it sits on top of the yeast/honey/water mixture. Then add the salt. Break the butter into 3-4 pieces (it’s best if it’s room temp – but if it’s cold don’t worry, the bread will just take a little longer to rise).
With a stand mixer make sure the dough hook is attached a mix on slow/medium speed for 8-10 minutes. If using a bread maker I use a spatula to manually mix the dough, giving it approx 6-8 good stirs (this amount of mixture is a little too much for the paddle in my bread machine, doing this starts the mixing process & then the machine can happily cope with fully mixing the dough!).
As the dough comes together it should mix smoothly & look soft & elastic. If it looks dry – or the mixing device makes a clunking sound add more water (the extra 20mls). Be patient it takes a minute or so for the water to become incorporated. Continue mixing for the 8-10 minutes.
If using a bread maker I use the dough cycle, so once mixing is finished the dough is then left in the machine to prove, until doubled in size (up to 2 hours), I then use the start of the dough cycle to knock back the dough for 2 mins before removing the dough.
If you are using a stand mixer, after the initial mixing process is complete, remove all the dough, place onto a clean floured surface & shape into a ball. Place into a buttered bowl, turn over once, so the top has a coating of butter on it & cover the bowl tightly with cling film. Place in a warm, draught free place until doubled in size (up to 2 hours). After this time remove the cling & punch down into the dough gently (feels sooo nice) to deflate the dough.
With either method you now have bread dough ready to be shaped. Place the dough on a floured surface and stretch it out with your hands. Fold one end into the middle & do the same with the other end. Turn the dough by a quarter & repeat the stretching & folding. Do this twice more. This is building structure into your dough & this little bit if effort makes a BIG difference to your finished loaf.
Place the dough seam side down into your buttered loaf tin. Cover with a tea towel & place in a warm draught free place until doubled in size (up to 2 hours).
Just before it has completely doubled turn your oven onto its highest setting, 250C/500F.
When doubled remove tea towel & place the tin in the oven. I then turn the heat down to 230C (but it’s fine to keep it at its hottest – just don’t forget about your bread!!). Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on your oven & how crusty you want your bread), I usually tip mine out of its tin & leave it upside down on the oven rack (with the oven still on) whilst I rinse out the loaf tin –
– CAREFUL it’s very HOT!
When the bread is a gorgeous deep golden colour remove from the oven, tip out of the tin straight away, or you will have a soggy loaf on the bottom. The bread should sound hollow if you knock on the base with your knuckle.
Enjoy the smell!!! There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread.
Now’s the hard part WAITING! The loaf needs to cool to just above room temp otherwise it won’t cut properly.
Prep time is no more than 10 mins. Once you’ve made your first couple of loaves you should get into a rhythm & see how easy it is to make your own bread.
Then find someone to share it with. Food ALWAYS tastes better when it’s shared.
Please let me know how you get on. I’m not a professional chef but I’m happy to try & answer baking/cooking related questions.
Until next time have fun making each meal a feast!!