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Sandwich Bread Loaf

Making home bread is easy. We do not buy bread but make our own, and with a little patience and the correct utensils, anyone should be able to make their own bread loaves, rolls, or French sticks. When making your own bread you know what is in it and how it has been handled. In my locality we found the bread and pastries to be over-baked. If you prefer hard, crispy tops to your loaves, it is amazingly easy to do without over-baking them.

Large 2lb Soft Sandwich Bread Loaf – around 74% Hydration Bread

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Recipe

  • 435g - Strong White Flour - ideally it should have a protein level of 12.5 to 13g.

  • 245g - Warm Water – roughly 40°C / 104°F in a jug or bowl

  • 20g – Olive Oil

  • 7g – Instant Dried Yeast OR 15g of Fresh Yeast

  • 6g – Table Salt

  • 6g – Granulated Sugar

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Method

 

  • Weigh 245g warm water in a container and stir in the 6g sugar, then the yeast and 20g extra virgin olive oil and stir until thoroughly mixed.

  • Cover and leave the yeast to begin to show signs that it is active (you should see bubbles on the surface of the mixture), this can take up to 10 minutes, but at lower temperatures, it may take a little longer. If the yeast shows no signs of being active, discard and use new yeast. I place the container in a bowl of warm water at 40°C and keep topping up as required.

  • Mix 435g - Strong White Flour and 6g salt in a separate bowl.

  • Mix active yeast mix with flour and knead correctly for at least 10 minutes (my video on bread making explains this).

  • Grease clean bowl with extra virgin olive oil, drop in the dough into the bowl, lift and turn so that there is olive oil on top of the dough. Cover and leave to prove for about 40 minutes (according to room temperature). I place the container in a tray of warm water at 40°C and keep topping up as required. After 40 minutes the dough should have doubled in size, if the room is cooler, let it prove longer.

  • I grease my 2lb bread tray with butter and then olive oil, and do not have problems with the bread sticking to the container.

  • Knead the dough for about 5-6 turns to get rid of the air and then shape the dough and place in a bread tin. You can dust the bread with flour at this time.

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  • I put the bread tin with the dough into a large plastic container with about 30mls of warm water for the second prove. The plastic container has a tray in the bottom to prevent the bread tin from resting in the water.

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  • Cover with its lit and place in a tray of warm water to prove for about 40 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

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  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/374°F or gas mark 5.

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  • Place the bread tin into the oven and turn the heat down to 180°C/356°F or gas mark 4 and cook for 15 minutes, the centre of the oven turning the bread tin and cooking for a further 15 minutes, for even cooking.

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  • *I have found that all ovens are not equal, mine, when set at 180°C its actual temperature is 160°C, so I must accommodate this variation by turning the dial to 200°C.