Basic Bread

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 ½ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 15g butter (softened)
  • 1 sachet yeast
  • 300ml warm water (1 part boiling : 2 parts cold)

Preparation

Lightly oil loaf tin(s) and set aside.

Make the dough

Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the yeast.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the warm water. Mix together with a cutlery knife until a soft dough starts to form. This will take a couple of minutes.

Knead the dough

On a lightly floured surface, knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Prove

Form into a ball. Lightly oil a clean bowl, put the dough into it, then cover with oiled cling film and leave in the proving oven for 1 or 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.

Knead again

Knock back the dough by gently kneading just 5 times for 2-3 minutes to get the air out. Shape into a loaf and drop into the loaf tin.

Second proving

Cover again with the lightly oiled cling film and allow to prove for 45 minutes to 1 hour until doubled in size again.

Bake

Sprinkle the top with a little flour and use a sharp knife to make a shallow slash in the top, around 1cm deep, from one end to the other.

Turn oven up to 220C.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200C, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until sounds hollow when tapped underneath.

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