A brilliant, easy bread recipe to bake at home
Many people have come to love the tall, fluffy rise of a white loaf of bread and then wish to adapt the recipe into a brown bread, but are disappointed with its denser, heavier result. The truth is that white bread and brown bread just aren’t the same thing, because of the varying levels of gluten in the flours.
This recipe can be adjusted to be either white or brown. But each has their own appeal so, when you’re adjusting a recipe from one to the other keep their different qualities in mind and you won’t be disappointed with the outcome.
Makes: 1 loaf of bread | Prep: 10 mins plus rising time of about 40 mins (depending on temperature) | Cook: 30–40 mins
500g white bread flour, stone-ground if possible (for a brown loaf, use ½ white and ½ brown stone-ground flour)
1 tsp salt
1 sachet quick dried yeast (10g)
250ml warm water, to mix
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1. Fit the dough hook into the food processor you will be using. If that processor is your arm, then flex those muscles. Place the flour, salt and yeast in the food processor or into a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the warm water, olive oil and honey. Pour this into the processor or mixing bowl and blend for a few minutes to form a ball of dough.
3. Remove the dough from the processor or mixing bowl, place on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for a few minutes.
4. Remove and shape into a long oval loaf by gently lifting and shaping the loaf with flat, cupped hands on your floured surface.
5. Place on a baking tray and make several 2 cm deep incisions across the top of the loaf. If you’re feeling creative you can even make a cross hatch pattern. By doing this you’re essentially creating room for or ‘weak spots’ for the bread to rise instead of leaving it to expand of its own accord and potentially cracking in weak areas along the sides or top of the loaf during the bake.
6. Now, chuck a tea towel over the loaf and leave to rise in a warm place. Allow to rise until doubled in size – about 40 minutes on a warm day.
7. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 30–35 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when you give it a tap.
8. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving with lashings of butter.
We hope this bread recipe inspires you to opt for home baked bread with only basic ingredients in it. No additives. Just stone ground goodness.