Bread and Rolls
Ingredients (makes ten rolls, one large loaf or two medium tin loaves)
700g flour 1 1/2lb Strong White (bread flour)
425ml / 15fl oz cold water
10g Easy blend yeast
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp salt vary to taste
Preparation Time 20 min, Proving 2hr plus
Cooking Time 35-40 min
Oven Temperature 230c / 450F / gas mark 8
There are many versions of bread made and made in many different ways. Here is my recipe for a basic crusty white tin loaf and cob rolls. This recipe is enough for two loaves / ten cob rolls or any combination you wish to make.
If you have never made bread before then you will find this recipe straightforward and easy to do and once you have made your first loaf I don’t think it will be your last.
Use cold water rather than warm and allow the dough to prove slowly. A slow proved bread has more taste and a better structure, so well worth the extra bit of time.
Sift the flour into a large bowl
Add the salt add an easy blend yeast. at this stage keep the two on either side of the bowl. Although salt adds taste it also kills the yeast.
Add to the cold water the sugar and mix until dissolved. The sugar helps feed the yeast and helps to activate it.
Pour the water mixture into the flour and mix first with a wooden spoon before taking over with your hand.
Mix the ingredients well together until it has formed a dough then remove from the bowl and place onto a floured surface.
Knead the dough for 5-8 minutes adding a little extra flour if needed. The dough should become silky smooth.
Kneading: Stretch the dough, pull back into a ball turn and repeat. Do this for a couple of minutes until the dough is small and silky. If you start to feel resistance in the knead, stop, it is done. Do not over knead, this as this can make the bread tight and do not under do this part because you will need the dough to become.
The biggest mistake made by people making bread for the first time is to over knead the dough.
Replace the dough into a clean bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This will take 1 ½-2 hours depending on the temperature.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knock back the dough and knead it for a further few minutes. i.e. push the air out, form and shape. If you use the dough and bake it like it is at this stage you will have air holes inside the finished bread.
Divide the dough into two for two loaves. Twelve for cob rolls or any combination you wish.
Tin Loaf. Place half the mixture into an oiled / butter 2lb loaf tin and place them again in a warm area for a further 30 minutes. The dough will rise for the second time.
Cob Rolls or Cob Loaf. Form the dough into ball and place of a baking tray. And allow to rise for the second time 20-30min
Preheat your oven to 230c / 450F / gas mark 8
Bake the loaves for 35-40min. Smaller cob loaves and rolls require less time due to their size 25-30min
Top Tip: If you like your bread with a nice crust place a metal rimmed tray / shallow metal container in the bottom of the oven and allow this to heat up while the oven is getting to temperature. Place your bread into the oven pour in a quarter of a cup of water onto the tray and shut the oven door quickly. The instant steam it generates will give your bread that extra crust. Professional bakery ovens have a feature to add water/stream during this process but the same effect can be achieved at home.
Crusty Plaited and Sesame Seed Bread
Loaf Variation - The Three Plait Loaf
Using one half of the dough mixture dived into three and roll each piece out to approximately 20 cm. Now plait the three together and leave aside to rise. Apply an egg wash to the top and sprinkle with sesame / poppy seeds and bake as per above. The egg wash gives the bread a golden colour and if you don't use the steam (see above) the crust will be thinner and softer.
For one large loaf, as shown above, use all the dough but roll out each piece to 40 cm.
Ready for the next stage in bread making?
If you like this bread why not try Tomato, Red Onion and Cheese Rolls or Our Sourdough Bread made without yeast using a natural starter mix. This bread has become more fashionable in recent years and if full of flavour.
People ask why I make my own bread when it isn’t expensive to buy. Well, a few reasons, taste, it fresh and it is always satisfying to eat something you have made from scratch. The soft sliced white loaves have their place, but even if you just want to treat yourself one a week you will soon realise why more people now home bake and look for artisan bread.