Brown Loaf

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I’m sure that you have all been informed by now that I love baking. If you need confirmation of this statement, please visit any one of my previous posts. There is absolutely no shortage of baking-related posts. 🙂

Oh, on another note, I can only apologise for my lack of published work over the past few weeks. My reason, you might ask? It’s a legitimate one, I swear! In celebration of my 21st birthday, I visited my sister Alex, who lives in Toronto. We also ventured on a road trip to New York. It’s an amazing place. As is Toronto. If I begin talking about them now then I’ll never stop. So I’ll keep it short and sweet. Less talk, more bread.

My plan is to become a baker. To become a successful baker, I need to know everything that there is to know about baking. I need to know every method used in the production of different types of baked goods.

I felt inexperienced in the making of bread, so before I took my holiday, I decided to hone my bread making skills. Fortunately for me, it turned out that there is nothing more satisfying than a soft, light, crusty loaf emerging from the oven, that has been made lovingly with my own hands.

I won’t lie to you. Baking bread takes a slight bit of time and effort, but if you have both to spare and you add some love, you will not be disappointed with the result.

Get kneading and get satisfied. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 400g brown flour
  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soft butter

Method:

Mix the flours, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, rubbing it into the mixture. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in 300ml luke-warm water. Mix with a round-bladed knife until the mixture comes together. Gather into a ball with your hands.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until the dough has a smooth and elastic feel. Shape the dough into a ball, place on a lightly floured work surface and cover with a large glass bowl. Leave for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Knock back the dough by kneading 3-4 times. Don’t handle the dough too much or it will lose its lightness. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with the glass bowl and leave for 15 minutes.

Grease a loaf tin, lining the base with baking paper. Using your knuckles, flatten the dough into a rectangle about 25cm x 19cm. Fold both shorter ends into the centre like an envelope, make a 1/4 turn, flatten again into a rectangle and roll up very tightly, starting from one of the short ends. Place in the tin with the join underneath. Cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 40-45 minutes or until the dough has risen about 5cm above the top of the tin.

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Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven 20 minutes before the dough is ready to bake and heat the oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put the risen bread in the oven, carefully pouring 250ml cold water into the roasting tin, which will hiss and create a burst of steam to give you a crisp crust. Lower the heat to 220C/200C Fan/gas 7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden.Leave in the tin for 2-3 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the base of the baked loaf it should be firm and sound hollow.

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