During lockdown it feels like the whole world has been baking bread, myself included. I’ve not quite mastered a sourdough loaf but I’m very happy with my classic crusty loaf. I’ve tried a few different versions, this one uses a combination of white flour and granary flour.
It’s really important that you use strong flour for this – the high gluten content helps the bread to expand to make a nice loaf.
The incredible smell of fresh bread will fill your kitchen and leave your mouth drooling in no time at all. I love to try a ‘noggin’ (a buttered slice of crust if you’re wondering what a noggin is) when the loaf has come straight out of the oven, just try try it and check that it’s okay (I volunteer as tribute)! It’s best eaten fresh so it won’t last longer than a few days but it tastes so good that I guarantee you won’t have any problems finishing it off.
I normally try and start this loaf when I know that I’ve got plenty of time as the proving can take a while. My top tip making a perfect loaf is to keep kneading for the full time – it needs a good ten minutes at the beginning if you’re doing it by hand. You’ll start off with a sticky mess but as you continue to knead, the dough will become smoother and start to form a nice ball. Resist the temptation to keep adding flour to your surface. If you knead enough it shouldn’t stick.
Keep scrolling for the recipe!
Homemade Bread – The Recipe
Recipe: Easy Homemade Bread | FOODDifficulty: Moderate
350g strong white flour
150g granary flour
10g fresh yeast (or 1 sachet of dried yeast)
350ml lukewarm water
- Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the fresh yeast
- Rub the yeast with your fingertips so it breaks up into a crumb and is evenly dispersed into the flour
- Add the salt to the flour
- Make a well in the flour and add the water in small amounts, stirring until it combines to a dough
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes until you have a smooth and soft dough with a bit of stretch.
- Put the dough back into your large mixing bowl with a drizzle of oil in the bottom. Cover with cling film and leave to proof in a warm place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Knead the dough for another five minutes and shape into your desired loaf shape. Put it in a loaf tin and leave to proof for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220 degrees with a baking tray in the bottom of the oven.
- Score the bread and brush lightly with water. Add some water to the tray in the bottom of the oven to create steam and bake the bread for 20 minutes.
- Let the loaf cool in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool for twenty minutes
- Enjoy with butter!
- Don’t skimp on the kneading – keep going for the full time!
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