This is the second time I made this bread and I must say it’s the safest and easiest recipe! I’m new to baking breads so it is a rather nail-biting experience waiting for the loaf to be done and then slicing into it. To have success both times, you have no idea how happy I am!
So this recipe is from this food blogger do check her out. Her recipes are amazing! I was a bit hesitant initially as the recipe calls for all purpose/plain flour. After watching so many series of The Great British Bake-Off and how Paul Hollywood bangs on about strong white flour I was worried I’d end up with a dense brick. But clearly this recipe works because the bread is so, so soft. Like literally pillowy soft!
Look at the texture! It bakes up with a nice crust – crisp but not hard that it cuts the insides of your mouth.
The recipe makes 2 8″ x 4″ loaves but I usually just make one as my family aren’t very keen on white bread.
(I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly as I found the bread to be a bit plain and tasteless the first time round)
5 1/2 cups plain flour (688g)
1 tbsp instant yeast or active dry yeast
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups warm water
2.5 tbsp butter, softened
1 heaped tsp salt
1. If using active dry yeast: dissolve sugar in warm water then sprinkle yeast over. Allow to stand for 10 mins or until frothy.
If using instant yeast: dissolve sugar in warm water. You can dissolve the yeast in the water, however it is not necessary.
2. In a bowl, mix together flour and salt (and instant yeast if using). Add butter in small chunks and the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough comes together.
3. Very lightly flour a surface and knead for 10-15 mins until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour.
4. Punch down the dough (this is my favourite bit) and knead slightly. Roll into a log and place in greased tins. Allow to rise for another hour.
5. Preheat oven to 200C and bake for 10 mins then reduce the heat to 175C for anothet 25-30 mins or until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
How to know when you’ve kneaded enough?
Poke Test: If the dough springs back after being poked firmly, it’s good to go!
Ball-in-hand Test: Roll the doll into a ball and hold it in your hand. If it falls out of your grip when you turn your hand over then you’d need to continue kneading.
I look forward to PB&J toast tomorrow!