During these credit crunch times we are all trying to save a little and in this spirit (but mainly because it was raining) Dormouse decided to make her own this week...
And what a perfect loaf it was crusty and well risen, staying fresh for several days. So good we decided to let you into our secret recipe and the bonus is it's really easy to make too..
Basic White Loaf
Makes 1 loaf
You will need...
500g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp of easy blend yeast (or 1 sachet of fast-action yeast)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
300ml luke warm water
Mix together flour, salt and yeast
Stir olive oil into the warm water/sugar mix. Pour the liquid slowly into the flour, stirring constantly until well combined. It should form together to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Knead dough on a floured surface for 10 min. If using a mixer, use dough hook and knead for 2 min. Shape dough into a bowl, place in a lightly floured bowl and leave to prove in a warm, draft-less place for 1-2 hours (until it has doubled in size)
Preheat oven to gas mark 9.
Flatten the risen dough with your hand then knead for a further 30 seconds on a floured surface.
Roll out into a fat sausage shape folding the ends under and place in a lightly greased 2lb loaf tin.
Sprinkle with flour and leave to prove for a further 30 min.
Cook bread for 10 min at gas mark 9 then turn the oven down to gas mark 6. Cook bread for a further 10 min. Carefully lift the loaf out of the tin, turn over and cook for another 5 min to allow the bottom of the loaf to brown. If you tap the base of the bread and it sounds hollow the bread is cooked.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.