Bread has always been a bit of a grey area for me. For years i didn't eat wheat because it didn't seem to agree with my gut. During that time I satisfied any sandwich cravings with all sorts of expensive speciality hippy breads, made with wonderful seeds and grains and full of goodness. These days I seem to be a little more tolerant of wheaty treats but the idea of a shop bought loaf of bog standard white bread always seems a bit pointless. If i'm going to have bread, it should be good bread. I don't just want a tasteless jacket for my ham and cheese. To me, good bread is fresh bread. I realise that there is somewhat of an art to making good bread and so I thought it best to start simple.
Easy White Bread
taken from BBC Good Food
500g Strong White Flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
7g sachet fast-action yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough, then gently mould the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.
For some reason, my loaf required and extra 25 mins or so.
As you can see from the photos, it turned out quite well. I am going to make another one this week and leave it to rise over night, to see if i can get a plumper loaf.