The first weekend of the year is here, and I’m still very much in the baking mindset that set in over Christmas – and I’m talking about the relaxing, therapeutic baking – doing something a little different that I’m not that familiar with – and after almost 2 years of Baker Man, here is the very first bread recipe. No way, you say!
Bread is one of the best things in the world, right? And is there anything better than filling the whole house with the smell of freshly baked bread – especially on a Sunday when I treat myself to a ‘proper’ breakfast. This bread was a fantastic base for some bacon and poached egg and will see me through the week as toast and a proper hefty sandwich.
Don’t be put off by baking bread – it’s honestly one of the easiest things, there are just a few tips to look out for to make sure all goes to plan!
Yields: 1 loaf
500g strong white bread flour
7g dried fast-action yeast
1 tsp salt
35ml olive oil
300ml warm water
Combine the flour, salt and yeast together in a bowl – keep the yeast and salt separate when adding as the salt will deactivate the yeast. In the bowl to your stand mixer, add the water and the oil. Add the dried ingredients into the water and with your dough hook attached, mix on medium for 5 minutes.
Flour the work surface and remove the dough from the bowl and knead the dough until it’s super smooth – it should almost be done already but finishing the keading off by hand will help you have more control. Once it’s smooth, press your finger gently into the dough and if it bounces back, it’s ready to rise.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film and a towel – leave in a warm place for an hour or until it has doubled in size. Once it’s risen, knock the dough back and mould into a round ball – tuck the dough underneath and pull it tightly so it forms a ball-shape. Place on some greaseproof paper on a baking tray and cover with a towel to rise again – about 45 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200c and place a roasting tray at the bottom of the oven. Once the second proof has finished, dust with flour and score with a sharp knife – one long cut down the middle and a few either side was my design, but go with what you’d like!
Place in the oven and at the same time, pour cold water into the roasting dish. This will create steam, helping the crust of your bread to coming nice and crusty! Bake for 30 minutes. To check it’s done, tap the base of the bread and if it sounds hollow, it’s done!