- 2tsp easy-blend dried yeast
- about 450ml (16floz) warm water
- 225g (8oz) strong plain white flour
- 450g (1lb) strong plain wholemeal flour
- 2tsp salt
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 25g (1oz) butter, diced
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
I have been rather lazy of late regarding making bread by hand. I have a bread maker and it's so much easier to just throw in a bread mix, press a few buttons and hit the start button and two hours later, lovely hot fresh bread.
But making bread is great, I enjoy getting my hands messy as I bring all the ingredients together. I also enjoy kneading the dough, as it's a great way to remove some pent up frustration. Many a time I have had a certain MP's face in my minds eye which helps me pound the bread even harder. If you've never made bread you should try it as it can be very therapeutic.
I have never made a wholemeal loaf before as I thought it would be harder than making white or granary bread as the bread grain is tougher and if it doesn't get enough kneading it could be very tough once baked. But I kneaded the bread, by hand, for 15 minutes and it came out very well.
This recipe makes two loaves and I didn't have two loaf tins and so I made two different shaped loafs bread. I used the tin for one loaf and rolled the second loaf into a flat bottomed round bread. Once baked I allowed to cool and placed one loaf in the freezer.
If you have two tins, greasy both tins.
Add the yeast to the warm water and stir together.
Sift the white and wholemeal flour into a bowl and add the salt, caster sugar and stir together. Add the butter rub into the flour mixture.
Make a well in the middle of the blow and add the warm water and yeast and bring the mixture together into a wet dough.
Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead the bread. If you are doing this by hand you should knead the bread for a minimum of 15 minutes and 10 minutes if by a machine. The mixture will be very sticky but as you knead the bread it will firm up.
After kneading the bread place the dough into an little oiled bowl and cover. Place in a warm location until the bread has risen to twice the size (approx 2 hours)
Knock back the dough and knead again for a couple of minutes. Split the dough into two and roll into an oblong, if you are using tins, or any shape if you are not.
Leave to rise again, for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 230c/450f/gas 8. Bake the loaves for 15 minutes and the reduce the temperature to 200c/400f/gas 6 and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the bread has risen and is lightly browned. The bread should sound hollow when tapped underneath. Turn out and place on a wire rack to cool down.