Thursday, September 1, 2011

Classic White Bread

I don't know what it is about dough that makes it so lovable. It's just so soft and smooth that I can hardly bear to put it in the oven. Anyway, suffice it to say I'll be making bread a lot more often from now on.

500g white flour (preferably bread flour) , plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
7g sachet fast-action yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
300ml warm water

Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Dissolve the honey in the warm water. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Once the dough is perfectly smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough to let the air out of it, then gently mould the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.

before final proofing

after final proofing

In the meantime, preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees C and bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

source: bbc goodfood

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