Home baked bread is wonderful, the smell, the taste… there really is nothing better. It also seems daunting but with a bit of coordination it can be very simple, as long as you have the time!
This recipe makes a very decent white bloomer loaf in around 4 hours including proving.
You will need:
- 275ml tepid water
- 2½ tablespoons skimmed milk powder
- 2½ tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 440g strong white bread flour
- 1¼ teaspoon dried fast action yeast
In a large bowl and using your hands, combine all the ingredients, ensuring you add the yeast last. Once the dough is well mixed, flour a worksurface and kneed the dough for a good ten minutes.
Place this back in the large bowl, cover tightly with clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place for 2-3 hours until the dough has at least doubled in size.
Lightly flour a flat baking sheet or tray.
Take the dough from the bowl and knock the air out of it. Don’t go made, you’re trying to get rid of the biggest air pockets. The dough should end up close to the size you started with.
Shape it into a bloomer loaf shape and put it on the baking sheet. Cover again with clingfilm, place a tea towel on top and leave for a second prove for 30 minutes. Turn the oven onto 200 degrees.
Once the second prove is done, cover the dough in a light dusting of flour, rubbing it across the top. Then cut four slashes across the top of the dough, around an inch deep.
Please this in the oven for around 25 minutes. It will be ready if it sounds hollow when you knock the underneath.