Crusty White Loaf Recipe.
So, did you have a go at making the Eight Grain Bread? You can find the recipe over on the recipe page or you can just click HERE and it will take you straight there. If you did and have now got the bread-making bug, here is a delicious crusty white loaf recipe for you to try. I use also use this recipe to make crusty rolls. To make the rolls instead of the loaf, simply cut the dough into pieces after the first proving and form into rolls. Then you can leave them on a baking tray to prove under a t-towel until they’re ready to bake. You will, of course, need to adjust the baking time because they will cook much quicker. You can usually tell if they’re cooked by their colour. If they’re a nice deep golden brown there is a good chance that they’re done. Also, another general indication is that if you tap them on the underside and they sound hollow. Although, I usually then pop them back into the over for a few more minutes just to be sure. This also works for testing if the loaves of bread are cooked too.
- 500g/1lb 1oz strong white bread flour, plus a little extra flour for finishing
- 40g/1½oz soft butter
- 12g/2 sachets fast-action dried yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- About 300ml/10¾fl oz tepid water (warm, not cold – about body temperature)
- A little olive or sunflower oil
- Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter. Add the yeast at one side of the bowl and add the salt at the other. Otherwise the salt will kill the yeast. Stir all the ingredients with a spoon to combine.
- Add half of the water and turn the mixture round with your fingers. Continue to add water a little at a time, combining well, until it’s all incorporated. You may not need to add all of the water, or you may need to add a little more. You want a dough that is well combined and soft, but not sticky or soggy. Mix with your fingers to make sure all of the ingredients are combined and keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.
- Use about a teaspoon of oil to lightly grease a clean work surface. Using oil instead of flour will keep the texture of the dough consistent. Turn out your dough onto the greased work surface.
- Knead the dough for 4 or 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands. If it does get too sticky you can add a little flour to your hands.
- Lightly oil a mixing bowl and put the dough into it. Cover with a damp tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and set it aside to prove. The dough should double in size. This should take around one hour, but will vary depending on the temperature of your room. Don’t put the bowl in a hot place or the yeast will work too quickly.
- Line a baking tray with baking or silicone paper (not greaseproof).
- Once the dough has doubled in size scrape it out of the bowl to shape it. The texture should be bouncy and shiny. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back by kneading it firmly to ‘knock’ out the air. Use your hand to roll the dough up, then turn by 45 degrees and roll it up again. Repeat several times. Gently turn and smooth the dough into a round loaf shape.
- Place the loaf onto the lined baking tray, cover with a tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove until it’s doubled in size. This will take about an hour, but may be quicker or slower depending on how warm your kitchen is.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Put an old, empty roasting tin into the bottom of the oven.
- After an hour the loaf should have proved (risen again). Sprinkle some flour on top and very gently rub it in. Use a large, sharp knife to make shallow cuts across the top of the loaf to create a diamond pattern.
- Put the loaf, on its baking tray, into the middle of the oven. Pour cold water into the empty roasting tray at the bottom of the oven just before you shut the door – this creates steam which helps the loaf develop a crisp and shiny crust.
- Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Let me know if you try the recipes. I would love to hear how they turned out.