I regularly make white bread, so it’s fitting that this appears quite early on in the challenge.
I tend to use the ‘basic white’ recipe from the Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3book.
- 1kg white flour
- 20g salt
- 10g dry yeast
- 600ml water
- 1tbsp olive oil
Combine the dry ingredients, add the water, mix together, add the oil and mix a bit more.
Turn out onto a clean board (I’ve stopped using a floured board) and knead until it’s smooth, this is usually about 10 minutes.
Place back in a clean bowl, cover and place somewhere warm until doubled in size (I usually give it 90 minutes).
Turn out back onto the board and ‘knock back’, I basically prod my fingers in it lots so it has lots of dimples.
Repeat previous two steps up to 4 times. (I usually do it twice unless I’m in a hurry for the bread)
Turn out onto the board and knock back again, shape into whatever shape you want and leave to prove. I do this in the tin at the moment and I leave it (covered) about 20-30 minutes until it has doubled in size. During this time, I heat the oven to 220 (on bread baking mode).
Slash the top, splash a little cold water on top and then put in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I turn the oven down to 200, and cook for a further 20 minutes.
These are my most recent loaves;
On the more recent loaves I’ve made, I’ve been getting quite large splits in the bread – despite putting large slashes down the top.
Something I’ve read today has said this might be because the dough is forming a crust during rising, and this is causing problems when it’s cooked. (I was using shower caps on top of the rising dough, and recently I’ve been using a dry tea towel – I’ll try a wet tea towel next time)