Make your own farm bread

By admin
16 August 2013

The secret to baking this basic white bread is to knead the dough well. A bread mixer or food processor works well.

Makes 1 large loaf

Preparation time: 15 min

Standing time: about 40 min

Baking time: about 1 hour

1 785 ml (1 kg) white bread flour

7 ml (1½ t) sugar

5 ml (1 t) salt

10 g (1 packet) instant yeast

500-600 ml lukewarm water

oil

coarse salt and fresh herbs to garnish

Grease a large (33 x 11 cm) loaf tin or large ovenproof saucepan or cast-iron pot with margarine.

1 Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add enough lukewarm water to make dough that’s easy to knead. Mix well.

2 Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a flat, smooth surface for at least 10 minutes or until it’s smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hands (the longer you knead the dough the better). Lightly grease a glass bowl with oil and put the dough in it. Lightly brush the top of the dough with oil and cover it with clingfilm. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise for 10-15 minutes.

3 Knock down the dough.

4 Shape the dough into a loaf and put it in the prepared tin or pot with the folded side down. Cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise for 20-30 minutes or until double in volume. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Sprinkle coarse salt and fresh herbs on top of the loaf and bake for about 1 hour or until done (see tip). Brush the loaf with margarine or oil if desired and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Cover with a tea towel while cooling.

Serve lukewarm or cold with butter, honey and cheese.

TIPS:

  1. How to tell if bread is done: tap the crust with your middle finger; if it makes a hollow sound it’s done.
  2. Don’t slice bread as soon as it comes out of the oven – it will crumble and become doughy.
  3. Don’t substitute cake flour for bread flour when it’s called for in a recipe. Bread flour is made of harder wheat and contains more gluten which means it has a firmer texture.

-Daleen van der Merwe

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