Easy Homemade Bread
Bake bread like a pro with my Easy Homemade Bread recipe. This soft and tasty bread, with it’s golden crust and excellent texture, never fails to impress. Especially when used for doorstop sandwiches, buttery toast and dunking into fresh soup. Best of all it only costs 35p per loaf to make.
I’ve been developing this Easy Homemade Bread recipe for the past two years. I like wholemeal bread and Gary likes white. I wasn’t prepared to make two loafs twice a week, we get through a lot of bread! I wanted an everyday versatile recipe to suit us both.
This recipe includes a mix of white and wholemeal flour. It’s as soft as a farmhouse white loaf and as tasty as a wholemeal loaf. It also has the added nutritional benefits with it containing so much wholemeal flour. They do say a successful marriage is full of compromise!
I’ve always had a fascination with making bread. I remember asking my mum and nana to show me how as a kid. They always said it takes too long, it’s too much effort… They must have been fobbing me off as they knew how messy I am in the kitchen.
Yes, baking bread does take time, 2 hours 20 minutes for the perfect loaf. However it takes next to no effort, around 20 minutes of hands on effort is required in total. The rest is all proving and baking. I potter around in the kitchen and clean in between the steps. It’s so effortless that I make a loaf of my Easy Homemade Bread twice a week, on a Sunday and Wednesday.
The World’s Gone Mad!
As you know I’m very passionate about growing and making your own food. It has never been so important, with climate change and the current craziness of Covid-19. We can have a huge impact on both.
Climate change by limiting our impact on the plant. 24 million slices of bread are wasted in the UK everyday. Bread and vegetables are covered in tons single use plastic which we send straight to landfills.
Covid-19 has sent the world into meltdown. I understand people are scared by it all. However panic buying is making the situation worse, it also brings the worst out in people. 2020 hasn’t been great so far but we can change that by being kinder to the planet and each other. Why not bake a loaf for a venerable neighbour, or offer to pick them a few bits up from the shop.
Easy Homemade Bread
So if you do find yourself wandering the empty aisles of a supermarket looking for a loaf of bread. Pick up a packet of yeast and bread flour instead. There is great satisfaction in making bread and with self isolation, you have plenty of time on your hands.
Easy Homemade Bread
- 300 g strong white flour
- 200 g strong wholemeal flour
- 7 g fast action dried yeast
- 25 ml olive oil
- 10 g runny honey
- 310 ml warm water
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- Roughly mix all the ingredients together in a stand mixer bowl and knead, using the dough hook attachment, for 5 minutes. If you want to do it by hand, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and stretchy. It should feel like a warm play dough that’s slightly sticky, but not so much that you can’t easily handle it.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and cover with damp tea towel. Leave to prove in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size. If you have kneaded by hand, place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. The cooler the temperature the longer the dough will take to rise.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock back using the heel of your palms. Create a rough rectangle going away from you. Ensure the bottom of the dough is lightly floured so it doesn’t stick, do not flour the top. Knocking back the dough is important to remove all the air bubbles from the first prove.
- Preheat oven to 220C / 200 fan / gas mark 7
- Starting at the end furthest away from you, pinch either side of the rectangle, pull out slightly and fold back into the middle (about an inch down). Roll the dough over towards you tightly tucking in the fold. Repeat the pinch, fold, roll and tucking process until you get to the end. This sounds really technical, I promise you it isn’t. You will perfect it after a couple of attempts. Tightly shaping your dough this way will improve the texture and final shape of your bread. Further photos of this technique below.
- Pop the dough into a lined and lightly floured 2lb loaf tin, seam side down. Lightly dust the top with flour. Tear off two sheets kitchen roll (in one piece) and rub a small amount of flour into it. Place, flour side down, on the dough and prove in a warm place for 30/40 minutes until it has doubled in size. It’s important to have folds/seams facing down, exposed seams will tear open in the oven.
- Remove the kitchen roll and bake for 25-30 minutes, until you have a golden crust and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. After baking this bread countless times I know my oven takes exactly 28 minute for the perfect loaf. Carefully remove the loaf from the tin and allow to cool before storing or cutting. Keep in an airtight container and it will be sandwich soft for 3 days, on the 4th day it’s good for toast and dunking into soup.
Flouring the top before baking will deliver a softer crust.
For an even softer crust pop the baking paper over the loaf whilst cooling.
Creating steam in the oven, by pouring a small amount of water into an oven proof dish as you put the bread into the oven, will give you a nice crisp crust.
Get creative, throw in some mixed seed or herbs.
Makes one loaf. Kcal calculated for one entire loaf with the ingredients I used.
Bread Shaping Technique in Pictures
Bread fiends are all welcome at The Delectable Garden. If you get the bread baking bug you should try my Festive Bread Wreath with Gruyere Cheese Dip.
I love to see your photos. Follow and tag me on Instagram @TheDelectableGarden
I’m happy to answer any bread making questions or queries. Please feel free to contact me on social media using the links below.