Baking time: 1.5hr – 2hr
Makes 1 Large Loaf or 2 Medium Loaf
This is a simple and excellent bread loaf with plenty of flavour that is great for the family. This loaf is great for sandwiches or as it is as a toast. It also freezes well. This dough is easy to work with and make – in a tin or rustic style. You can also experiment with different flour such as wholemeal flour, rye flour with added ingredients such as seed, nuts or dried fruits.
- 675g Bread Flour / Strong Flour
- 1½ teaspoon Salt
- 7g Instant Yeast
- 425ml Lukewarm Water
– 2 Non-stick Medium Loaf Tins or 1 Non-stick Large Loaf Tins
– Large Baking Tray lined with Baking Paper (for rustic style)
Note: It is important that you follow the measurement of the ingredient correctly. Baking is Science.
- Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl or a mixing bowl if you are using a stand mixer. Create a well in your large mixing bowl and slowly pour in the lukewarm water while using your hands to mix the dry ingredient into a soft dough (use your dough attachment for the mixer). Make sure your dough is not sticky – If you see dry crumbs, add a little bit more lukewarm water; if your dough is sticky, add a little more flour.
2. Once mixed, you will realise that the dough will stick to your fingers and feel soft. Don’t worry, that is the consistency of the soft dough. The reason why the dough is sticking to your hands is because; the gluten in the dough is not activated.
3. On a lightly floured surface, knead for 10 minutes or 4 minutes in the mixer at the lowest speed. Do not over knead in the mixer. If you are hand kneading, make the dough into flatten round shape, pull the top front of the dough towards you and push out and continue the process till you reach the bottom of the dough closest to you. After kneading, your sticky dough will slowly become smooth and soft.
4. Return the dough into the bowl, cover with a damp cloth or cling-wrap. Leave the dough to rise for at least 1 hour. If the weather is cooler, you would require 2 – 3 hours for the dough to proof.
5. Punch the dough down to deflate and put the dough on a lightly flour surface again. Divide the dough into two portions equally, press the dough into a square and roll the dough up like a swiss roll.
6. Continue to proof the dough for another 1 hour in large plastic and slightly inflate the plastic bag so that the dough does not stick to the plastic bag. If you wish to make a rustic loaf, roll the dough into a round circle and keep all edges tucked at the bottom.
7. 10 minutes before your loaf is ready, preheat your oven at 230℃. Remove your loaf from the plastic bag and sprinkle a little flour on top. If you would like to make your loaf fancy, brush the top with a little milk and sprinkle sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seed. Use a sharp knife or blade, deeply score the top of the dough to create the desired pattern. Bake for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 200℃ and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes (if you are making a bigger loaf; 20 – 30 minutes). – You can also take this opportunity to remove the loaf from the tin and continue to bake.
8. To check if the loaf is ready, the top should be golden brown and the turned-out loaf should sound hollow when tapped underneath. If the loaf has a dull sound, continue to bake for another 5 minutes and test again.
9. Cool the loaf on a cooling rack and serve. Remember, COOL then CUT.
Recipe contributed by Uncle Bob, Uncle of 3 nephews and 1 niece