There is nothing quite like the smell of bread baking in the oven. Many people these days have bread machines which basically do all the work for you, but there is something so satisfying about making yourself. The taste, the smell, the texture, everything seems so much better when you make it yourself, and it's not even hard to do!
- 7g dried active yeast
- 500g strong white flour (bread flour)
- 350ml warm water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- a little butter for greasing the loaf tin
- Grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with butter.
- Add a little of the warm water, sugar and yeast to a bowl, mix and leave to stand for about 5 minutes.
- Whilst the water mix is standing, mix the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre, pour in the water, yeast and sugar and lightly mix in, then add the rest of the water.
- Mix well to form a dough.
- Knead the dough for 10-15 mins until the dough feels springy and then pop into a bowl with a damp cloth over it and leave in a warm place for an hour.
- After an hour the dough should have risen to double it's size, take it out of the bowl and knead again for another 10 minutes. Once you have kneaded the dough for a second time, shape it by hand into an rectangular shape (so it fits into the loaf tin) and place it into your loaf tin and leave for 20 minutes in a warm place.
- Whilst waiting for the dough to rise for a second time, preheat the oven to 220C / 425F / Gas Mark 7
- After 20 minutes of second rising, place the tin (and dough!) into the centre of the oven and back for approx 30 minutes until golden brown and crusty on top.
- Turn out the loaf and allow to cool on a wire rack (if you have one). Once cooled, tap the bottom of the loaf, if perfectly cooked the bread should sound slightly hollow.