The other day I was in the living room pretending to study whilst watching the latest episode of Outlander, when a tractor stopped outside the house and a few moments later I heard hubbie come in the kitchen door. I looked up in time to see him smile, wave and head out the door again. I found this quite curious, but didn’t think anything off it until he finished work and he asked if I liked the present he dropped off.
Present? What present?
When I entered the kitchen I saw 2 bags of Organic Strong bread flour and 1 bag of organic self raising flour from one of the local farms. Now to most people, this wouldn’t be a present, but I was delighted. I’m sure other bakers will understand this too, as anything related to baking whether ingredients or utensils or gadgets are very much welcome.
Hubbie had been at the farm that mills and sells the flour and had been given 3 bags to take away with him. Lucky me!
As you will know from previous posts ( Pizza and Cinnamon buns) I have had mixed success with using yeast and making bread items. However, since the Cinnamon buns turned out well and since I now had a lot of strong bread flour I thought I’d try my hand at making bread.
This recipe comes from a cookbook I got from my mum and I remember her cooking from it when I was younger. Its the Diary Book of Home Cookery and the copy I have was published in 1978. This book came with me when I went to University and has been my bible ever since. Its the book I go to first when looking for a recipe and it was from this book I learned how to make various sauces, Victoria sponge, pancakes, fruit loafs, macaroni and even how to line cake tins! Oh, of course there are recipes I would never make such as tripe, kidneys espagnole, creamed liver, tongue with mustard sauce…… belugh…lets not dwell too much on those recipes.
The Ingredients for making White Bread are…..
450 grams of strong bread flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, 15 grams of butter, 2 level teaspoons of yeast, 1/2 pint of warm water.
Sift the flour and salt together in a bowl.
Add the yeast to a separate bowl and add a small amount of water and mix to form a creamy paste then add the remaining water and mix well.
Place the flour/ salt mix into the bowl of your stand mixer. However, if you are smart, unlike me, you will have sifted the flour and salt into this bowl in the first place! What can I say, I had a D’uh moment.
Attach the dough hook to your mixer and place your mixer on low and drizzle the yeast/ water mix into the flour. When it all comes together, take out the mixer and knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface or you can leave in your mixer and knead for 5 minutes. I kneaded by hand as I had never done that before and wanted to try the technique.
Then place the dough in a bowl and leave to double in size. I turned on my top oven, left the door open and placed the bowl on a seat in front of it. It rose very quickly.
Take out the bowl, place on a lightly floured surface and knead until firm. Then shape the dough so that it fits inside a 1lb loaf tin. Melt some butter and brush the inside of the loaf tin then place the loaf inside.
Leave the dough to rise again, until it reaches the top of the tin. Again, my dough rose really well and quickly too. I had placed it back in front of the oven door!
Preheat oven to 230°C. Before placing in the oven, brush the top with milk or beaten egg or a mix of both. I just used milk. Then put in the oven for about 30 mins or until golden brown. After 30 mins my loaf had risen to well beyond the top of the tin and on one side was very very brown, probably too much for a loaf. Therefore next time I make this recipe I would check on it earlier. I would probably also put the mixture in a 2lb loaf ti too.
Remove from the tin and cool on wire rack and salivate over the wonderful smell. Bread has got to be my favourite smell in the kitchen.
You could give into the tempting smell and cut off a piece and cover with butter………given that it was 10:30pm in our house with a 6:00am start the next day we refrained and went to bed with thoughts of fresh bread for breakfast.