Last week on the bake off, the bakers made bread and I decided to see if I could make a simple loaf of bread. I have never made bread before but I was a little nervous about trying.
Here is the recipe that my friend gave to me, to make a white bloomer:
- 500g strong white flour, plus extra for kneading
- 10g salt
- 1 x 7g sachet of instant yeast
- 320ml cold water
- 40ml olive oil, plus extra for kneading
Place the dry ingredients in a bowl; do not allow salt and yeast to touch. Add the oil and 240ml of tepid tap water.
Using your hands, mix the ingredients together. Gradually add remaining water (you may not need it all), until all the flour leaves the side of the bowl and you have a soft, roughish dough.
Pour a little oil onto a clean work surface. Place dough on surface and begin to knead; do this for 5-10 mins, or until dough becomes smooth and silky. Once this consistency is reached, place dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until tripled in size. A warm airing cupboard or conservatory is great!
Once risen, place the dough onto a floured surface. Knock the dough back by folding it in on itself repeatedly. Do this until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth. To shape into a bloomer, flatten the dough into a rectangle shape. With long side facing you, fold each end into the middle then roll like a Swiss roll so that you have a smooth top with a seam along the base.
Very gently roll with the heel of your hands.
Place on tray lined with baking parchment paper, cover and leave to prove for 1-2 hours at room temperature, or until doubled in size.
Lightly spray with water and dust with a little flour. Make four diagonal slashes using a sharp knife across the top.
Preheat the oven to 220°C425°F/Gas 7 and place a baking tray filled with water on the bottom shelf of the oven - this will create steam when bread is baking. Place loaf on middle shelf and bake for 25 mins. (Take out top shelf if you think loaf may touch when rises as it cooks) After this time lower the heat to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and bake for a further 10 mins.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Here is the end result -
I am incredibly proud that I actually managed to bake a loaf of bread and it tasted great.