Making our own bread has become the standard over the last few years, once you get into homemade bread the alternatives always seem a bit lacking, but in a family of our size this is quite demanding, with whole 2lb loaves disappearing in a single lunch! So we have been looking out for a larger loaf tin for a while, and were pleased to find a nice long bread pan! (you can find it in our CookShop) As it is twice as long as a standard loaf tin we did a double loaf batch, as detailed in the recipe below. I wish I could share the smell of bread cooking with you, it is the most fabulous scent to fill your house with!
What you need
- 1kg bread flour of your choice
- 2tspn salt
- 2tspn easy blend dried yeast
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 600ml hand hot water
What you do
- Place the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and water, then stir in the flour with a broad knife, to make a dough.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Different flours can vary in absorbency, so you may need to add more flour as you knead.
- Oil the bowl and put the dough back into it, covering it with a cloth and leaving it in a warm place to rise. Again the rising will depend upon your choice of flour, with whole meal flour needing a bit longer than white.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, tip it back out of the bowl and knead it gently to even it out, then shape it to fit your pan. This recipe fills the kaiser 32cm pan, but could be cut in half to make two 2lb standard loaves.
- Oil and flour your bread pans. Roll your shaped dough in flour to coat it and put it in the pan.
- Cover and leave it to rise again until it has started to dome out of the loaf pan. Make a couple of shallow cuts diagonally across the top of the loaf before placing in a preheated oven at 200degC for 35mins, or until well risen and golden. Test if it is done by tipping it out of the pan and tapping the bottom. When ready, bread sounds quite hollow, and it is best to cook a little longer than to end up stodgy in the middle.
- Leave the bread to cool before slicing.
Make it your own
I like to use a mix of flours, with malted or seeded flours for extra flavour and white to give it a bit of lift. It is fun to experiment. Or you could divide a half recipe into 12 and kneed them into individual rolls and then shape them into something more interesting. Add some poppy seeds or sunflower seeds for added interest.