Sunday, 8 January 2012
The White Loaf
500g strong white bread flour
1 tspn sea salt
200ml lukewarm milk
1 large egg
1 sachet fast action dried yeast (7g)
50g melted butter
1) Weigh the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon.
2) Make a well in the centre and add the egg, milk and melted butter.
3) Draw all the dry and wet ingredients together with your hands. If the mixture if dry, add a dash of milk, until a smooth ball of dough is formed.
4) Knead for 10 minutes with the palm of your hand.
5) Rub a small amount of oil onto a sheet of cling film and place over the bowl to prevent the dough from drying out. Leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
6) The dough will have doubled in size by this point. Punch it down and roll gently to form into a rectangular shape for your loaf tin. Put dough into tin and cover again with cling film. Leave for another hour until the dough has expanded again.
7) With 15 minutes of rising to go, preheat the oven to 200 degrees/Gas Mark 6. Place a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven as you do this.
8) When an hour is up, remove the cling film and lightly rub some flour on top of your loaf, slashing it with a knife across the top 3 times. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and pour a cup of water into the roasting tin at the bottom. This will release a jet of steam that will give your bread a nice crust.
9) Bake for 30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Tap the base - if it sounds hollow then it is perfect!