White Bread

Let's go back to Bake-sics. Flicking through some of my posts recently made me realise - I haven't really got much in the way of pure, simple baking. When I am planning bakes and posts I think I overlook lots of my regular recipes (in my notebook at home) because I love to work with flavour so much. Much of my work centres around taking basic recipes, like white bread, and incorporating flavour to take them up a level.

Sometimes people just like simple. This white bread is super simple - it is soft, tasty and just all-round exactly what every home baker wants from a loaf of bread. Whether you are a beginner, pro baker or something in between, this is the recipe that I swear by for white bread...

INGREDIENTS

- 550g Strong white bread flour

- 10g Fast action yeast

- 10g Fine sea salt

- 35g Butter (softened)

- 300ml Warm water

- 1tbsp Olive oil

METHOD

- In a freestanding electric mixer, with dough hook attachment, place the flour, yeast, salt (on the opposite side to the yeast), oil and butter.

- With the mixer on low speed, add the water in a steady stream before turning up the speed and allowing the dough to come together fully.

- After the dough has come together, remove from the mixer and knead by hand for around 5-8 minutes.

- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in size (at least 90 minutes).

- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape - either into a bâtard, boule or any other shape you would like. (If you wish to use a loaf tin I would advise using approximately 3/4 of the dough produced and placing it in a 2lb loaf tin - then shape the remaining 1/4 into bread rolls).

- Cover the loaf with cling film and allow to prove for 1 hour.

- Meanwhile preheat your oven to 200C Fan / 230C and place a shallow tray of water in the bottom of the oven to produce steam that will give your loaf a beautiful crust when it bakes.

- Remove the cling film, dust with flour and score before baking the loaf for 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped lightly.

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