Monday, 9 June 2014

White Sandwich Loaf

There are a lot of foods that I'm completely in love with but the humble loaf is right up there at the top. I love french sticks, wholegrain bloomers and lets face it; milk roll is the best thing that Mr Warburton (or just about anyone in the food industry) ever invented. Now, I've said it before and I will say it again; there's nothing like making your own bread, and I make this humble sandwich loaf on a Sunday for my family. Sometimes I even make a second dough to freeze so we can have a fresh loaf even on the days I don't have time to waste waiting around for proofing. The original recipe for this is from "The Fabulous Baker Brothers" and it's honestly a really lovely soft white loaf, plus there's so little in the way of ingredients you'll know it by heart in absolutely no time.

I love this recipe simply because it always seems to come out really nicely and once you've done it a few times it's almost second nature. Chuck 560g of strong white bread flour and 10g of sea salt into a bowl. In a separate jug mix 20ml of rapeseed oil and 300ml of tepid water (realistically you want this water to be quite warm, I used water on the cooler side of tepid the first few times and the expansion of the dough wasn't great) then with a fork mix into the oil/water mixture 10g of dried yeast. If you have a mixer all you need to do now is add wet to dry and using dough hooks, allow the mixer to bring the mixture together and knead it into a smooth, elastic dough (about ten minutes). Don't have a mixer? Get ready for a real work out! Incorporate all the ingredients into a dough and then on a heavily floured surface knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic (you're looking closer to 20 minutes if you do it by hand.) Once the dough is ready, shape into a ball and put into a bowl then cover with clingfilm. Leave for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

If you're going to freeze your loaf, after this first proofing is when it should go in. Nestle it into the tin you will bake it in, making sure said tin is lined with cling film. Set it into the freezer and when the dough is completely solid, take it out of the tin and wrap in cling film until you're ready to bake. When you're ready to bake take it out of the freezer and leave the dough out until it has defrosted and completed it's second proofing (it should be roughly twice the size of when removed from the freezer and your finger should make an indent when you touch the dough.) If you're not going to freeze it, still nestle it into an oiled loaf tin and leave covered in cling film to double in size again (or for another hour whichever is first). When the second proofing is done, slice the top of the dough, sprinkle with flour and bake for about thirty minutes, the first ten should be at gas mark 9 and the remaining twenty at around gas mark 6.5. It should be risen and golden when its ready, and the top will seem quite hard but it softens up, I promise! Voile, fresh bread.

Just as a quick fyi, this is amazing toasted with the white chocolate nutella!
Do you make your own bread? What's your favourite recipe?

S xo.
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