Kieran has been wanting to make bread for ages as he has never baked it before – we’ve been planning to make it but have never got round to it till now. I haven’t baked bread since I was a kid, simply because I don’t eat it. As a wheat intolerant, I can get away with eating the odd piece of cake or bit of pastry, but bread always makes me feel really ill as the flour content is so high.
But as the smell of freshly baked bread in the house is almost as good as the taste, I relented quickly and we decided to start simply and make a basic white loaf.
I was naughty and had a slice with jam and it was delicious. Lovely and crusty on the outside, and deliciously soft in the middle.
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus
- extra for dusting
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast. Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in 300ml warm water and the oil until the dough comes together – add a dash more water if it seems dry.
Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth. Shape like a rugby ball and put onto an oiled, large baking sheet. Set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size. This is known as proving or rising.
Preheat oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Make deep slashes with a sharp knife in the top of the dough and dust with flour. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen, golden and cooked. To test if it’s ready, tap the base of the loaf – it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack and slice to serve.