Bloomer

Aka White Bread. This is one of Paul Hollywood’s recipes, and, lets face it, what Paul doesn’t know about bread isn’t worth knowing. It’s amazing what four simple ingredients can make, and this bread is yummy, straightforward and makes wonderful sandwiches and toast.

Ingredients

500g strong white bread flour

7g fast action dried yeast

10g free flowing salt

40ml olive oil

Method

  1. Put the flour, yeast & salt in a big bowl & mix. Make a well in the centre.
  2. Pour in the oil and 300ml warm water. Not too warm though.
  3. Use your hand to draw in the flour and start to mix until all the flour is combined. Add in more water a little at a time until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is damp but not really sticky.
  4. Either tip out onto an oiled surface and knead for 15 minutes until smooth, or pop into a food mixer for 10 minutes using the dough hook.
  5. Grease a clean large bowl with a little olive oil, pop in the dough, turn it over to cover with oil, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for at least 2 hours or so, until tripled in size.
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface, knock out the air by pressing down firmly. Shape the loaf by pressing gently into a rectangle, then folding in one long edge then the other to overlap it. Flip the dough over so the seam is on the bottom, and gently shape into a rounded rectangular loaf.
  7. Pop onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and slide the whole thing into a plastic bag, tucking the plastic down on all sides to seal it, but leaving space above the loaf for it to rise without touching the bag.
  8. Leave to prove for a further hour or so until doubled in size and rebounds to a light touch. The dough feels amazing at this point.
  9. Heat oven to 220C, and put a roasting tray on the bottom shelf.
  10. While the oven heats, sprinkle a little water over the loaf, then dust with flour, then use a really sharp knife to slash the top of the loaf 4 times at an angle to allow the loaf to expand in the oven.
  11. Pour 1 litre of water into the roasting tin and put the loaf on the middle shelf.
  12. Bake at 220C for 25 mins, then reduce the heat to 200C for a further 10 mins. You can check that its done by tapping the bottom – it should sound hollow.
  13. Cool on a wire rack and tuck in.
Fish finger sandwich!

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