Monday, May 11, 2009

Easy Half & Half Bread

Beautiful Bakers

This recipe comes straight off the bag of flour - they should know! It's a good straight forward recipe, I have used a combination of white and wholemeal flour, this seems to get a good balance. All wholemeal can make it very dense. I always use a food processor with a dough hook. If you have one of these it makes making bread really easy and quick. If not, you'll get nice big muscles from kneading.

1/2 lb/225g strong white flour
1/2 lb/225g strong wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1tsp sugar
10z/25g butter
1 sachet fast acting dried yeast
300ml/1/2 pint warm water
Olive Oil

Sieve flour, salt and sugar into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers. Stir in the fast acting yeast and and then add the water. If you are using a food processor with dough hook, just turn it on for 3-5 mins until the dough has all gathered together and is silky and pliable. If you are kneading, knead it until it gets to this stage.

Pour some oil on the dough to coat it and the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise on a radiator for 1/2 and hour. Knock the dough down (sooo satisfying!) then put in into an oiled bread tin. Cover again and leave to rise on the radiator until it is higher than the top of the tin (about another 1/2 and hour)

Pop your loaf into the oven and bake on gas 8/230c for half an hour. The loaf should have a nice hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Let it cool a bit before you slice it, it's hard to do when that freshly baked bread smell is filling your kitchen, but resist or you'll have a bit of a sticky mess on your bread knife.

Sprinkle with some poppy seeds before baking, or add some chopped olives, nuts or seeds, to make some interesting variations on this yummy loaf.

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