Simple and delicious bread

    3 hours 50 min

    I love baking bread. It is so simple, but delicious. Throw your bread machine into a skip, the results from this recipe are much better.

    Isle of Wight, England, UK
    3 people made this

    Makes: 1 loaf bread

    • 500g bread flour (see tip)
    • 1 (7g) sachet dried instant yeast
    • 5g salt
    • 250ml to 300ml cool water

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:3hr proofing  ›  Ready in:3hr50min 

    1. Put the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl, placing the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl, they are not good friends!
    2. Add enough water to make a very slightly sticky dough. The amount you'll need depends on the flour, weather, humidity and the mood of the gods. This is art, not science! Knead enthusiastically for 10 minutes or so.
    3. Return dough to the bowl, cover bowl with cling-film and then a towel. Leave to prove at room temperature. Do not be tempted to rush things by putting it in the airing cupboard. Bread does not like to be rushed.
    4. Take the dog for a walk. No really! The exercise will do you some good. Go for at least two hours. Preferably three. If you stay at home you'll be tempted to peak or rush things. Proving takes time.
    5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment then brush it with oil. Don't forget this bit, I have and it isn't easy to peel paper off the bread!
    6. Knock the dough back and knead for a couple of minutes, shape your loaf and stick it on the prepared tray. Cover with oiled cling-film and a towel.
    7. Make a cuppa. Sit down, put your feet up and relax. Maybe do some ironing. You've an hour to kill.
    8. Halfway through the hour, preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
    9. After an hour, take the towel and cling-film off the loaf. Cut a slash into the dough. Put in the oven for half an hour. Have another cuppa.
    10. Bake the bread in the oven for half an hour. Have another cuppa. After 30 minutes, take loaf out of the oven. Tap it on the bottom. Does it sound hollow? If not, back into the oven for a few more minutes. Once it sounds hollow, remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Try to leave for an hour or so.
    11. Slice bread, butter and enjoy!


    For this recipe to make up the 500g bread flour you can use white, wholemeal or a combination. I like 50:50.

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