Thank goodness for yeast!

I’m not saying the sourdough loaf didn’t work, it just needs, well let’s say a little fine tuning! the result was not anything like I would want to photograph (wasn’t worth wasting the pixels) or let’s put it another way; if any of you are building a wall and need another brick, call me, I can help.

Moving swiftly on, this bloomer above is a no brainer for anyone who wants to start making bread at home or with the risk of sounding like Paul Hollywood; you just have to try this.

You need:
500g White bread flour
7g Dried fast acting yeast
40g Olive oil
10g Salt
*300 – 320g Cold water

In a mixing bowl add first the yeast then flour, salt, oil and water (*start with 300g of water some flours are stronger than others and might need a little more water, but after a few goes you will feel when you have the right consistency) and mix with a wooden spoon or your hand until you have a lump of dough then turn out on to a clean work surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes (that can seem like a long time the first few times, don’t worry the result is worth it) use a little oil or flour if you like to stop it sticking to your hands.

You should now have a smooth, moist and elastic dough that comes away from the work surface and your hands, put it in a clean bowl, cover with cling film or plastic bag and leave at room temperature to double in size normally 1 to 2 hours, don’t worry about the time, more or less doesn’t matter but it needs to double it’s size.

Turn the dough out on to a work surface dusted with flour and push the air out of it and knead briefly then form into a loaf shape a ball is also ok but try to get a smooth surface. Place you loaf on a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and cover loosely with plastic, (I use a clear bin bag) and leave to rest and double it’s size usually another hour or so. Set your oven to 220 C. and put an empty roasting tin in the bottom.

Now your loaf has doubled in size and the excitement is rising! gently remove the plastic and spray the loaf lightly with water then sprinkle on some flour and with a very sharp knife (serrated is good) make some slashes on the surface. Put the loaf in the oven on the middle shelf and throw a cup of cold water in to the roasting tray that you put in there (be careful this will make steam!!) close the oven door quickly and set your timer for 25 minutes, when the timer goes off turn the oven down to 200 C and leave the bread in for another 10 minutes (even though it looks ready, leaving for this extra time helps to make a nice crust)

Then remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack, it is a very satisfying experience and will make your whole house smell wonderful!

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