Recipe: Nothing can beat warm bread that you have made yourself...

In her weekly column Mercy Fenton makes some White Yeast Bread
Recipe: Nothing can beat warm bread that you have made yourself...
White Yeast Bread, by Mercy Fenton.

SO, the kids expressed an interest in making their own white bread — wonderful, I thought, always delighted when they want to try something useful. I have tried in vain to get strong flour for four weeks now and compromise was needed. As we have managed to make hot cross buns and reasonable pizza dough with cream flour, I decided we would just make do. The result is a tasty white bread with a fluffy texture, small holes — nothing amazing like sour dough but satisfying to make and a nice crust. So in short a very successful outcome!

Really, nothing can beat warm bread that you have made yourself — almost straight from the oven. I’m forced to set a timer to allow it to finish cooking as such, and allow the steam evaporate, and then it disappears in record time. Result. As some of us have a bit more time available it’s a good opportunity to try a little yeast cookery. The most important aspect is patience, allow the dough to prove in its own time, it may be faster or slower on different days depending on the room temperature, patience is key.

White Yeast Bread

Ingredients (for 2 loaves in 2lb loaf tins)

530gr cream flour

1 tbsp sugar

¾ tsp salt

2 to 3 tbsp olive oil

1 sachet of fast action yeast (7gr)

315ml warm water.

Method:

  • Using the dough attachment and an electric mixer, I put everything into the bowl together, adding the water last.
  • Start on low to medium speed, once everything is mixed increase the speed and allow to mix for 5 to 7 minutes — I would set a timer. (Stay with your mixer, as it may move along the worktop like mine!)
  • After about 5 minutes the dough should be formed into smooth dough.
  • If you feel it’s too dry or too wet, remember to only make slight adjustments, a teaspoon at a time of flour or water is enough to add.
  • Once dough is formed, turn out onto a lightly floured board, kneed lightly.
  • Then pop back into the bowl, leave in a warm place and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until double in size, this may take up to 2 hours or may only take 40 minutes.
  • Once you are happy it has risen enough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface again, and knead again, gently pushing out the air.
  • Weigh the dough then divide evenly in two. Knead each piece into a cylinder shape about the length of your tin.
  • Lightly oil the 2 loaf tins, then pop in the dough, ideally with a smooth side facing up.
  • Cover again with a cloth and leave to prove, check after about 30 minutes, if you feel it’s making good progress pre-heat oven to 200 C, so when the bread is fully risen you will be ready. This takes a little practice, better sure than sorry the first time but after a few turns you will get good at judging it.
  • Once doubled in size, brush carefully with a beaten egg (scatter the top with poppy or sesame seeds if you have them).
  • Place boiling water in a dish or pan in the base of the oven to create a little steam.
  • Then score the top 3 or 4 times with a sharp knife, place the tins in the pre-heated oven, on centre to top shelf.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until a good crust has formed and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.

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