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Tasty!

So I’m still procrastinating with the paper I have to give in about 10 days. Although I’ve planned it – somewhat – there is still quite a bit to be done, before its presentation quality anyway… Oh well – in the meantime I’ve been on a bit of a baking blitz.

The reason for this is that we recently bought some white bread flour from Shipton Mill, and I have to say I’m particularly impressed with the results so far. I’m very much tempted to at some point in the future buy a few other flours from their range. We had already used the flour for the Pissaladiere which came out very well, but I also wanted to make a loaf so we had some bread for lunches etc. Well the white bread loaf came out very well, and I think I’m going to find it quite hard to go back to normal flour after this…

For this bread I followed to some extent the recipe found at Delia’s website. Instead of using an easy blend dried yeast, I used a yeast which you had to make up a preparation for – in this instance, Doves Farm’s Original Dry Yeast. Again, I think this worked much better than other loafs I’ve tried with the quick instant acting kind of yeast. Basically the bread was delicious – both for fresh sandwiches and after a couple of days toasted with marmite. YUM.

Adapted from Delia’s Plain and Simple White Bread.

For the Yeast Preparation:

150ml of hand-hot water

1sp of sugar

1tbsp of dry yeast

For the White Loaf:

1lb/8oz or 700g of Strong White Bread Flour

1 level tablespoon of Salt (I used Maldon Salt)

275ml of hand-hot water

The first thing I did was get the yeast preparation ready. You just mix the water and sugar together and then add the yeast and mix it well. Then you leave this for ten or fifteen minutes with a cloth over it.

While the yeast was becoming active I followed a tip that Delia gave (I’m not entirely sure why she does this but heck I’m not going to argue with her…) which is to warm the flour in the oven for ten minutes. After this sift the flour and salt, add the yeast preparation and the rest of the water. Mix with a wooden spoon and then use your hands and get dirty. Basically you should make sure that it comes together as a dough – don’t leave any bits in the bowl! Then just knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, after which place the dough in a clean bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and if you’re like me place it in your washing machine – it’s probably the warmest place in my flat.

You then just leave it for two hour, so that you can get on with doing other productive things in the house – I think I just watched TV… After two hours have passed return to the washing machine to see how much your dough has expanded – be amazed. What you do now is punch in the dough and knead it again for three or four minutes. Shape it into a shape that will fit your loaf tin (this should fit a 2lb/900g); I do this by folding a third on the left hand side into the middle, then a third of the right hand side into the middle and then flip it over and place it in the tin. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for another hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees celsius about twenty minutes before your hour is up. Then after the hour, add a little flour to tops of the loaves and add them to the oven. We baked them for about 35 minutes, then took it out and turned it around and baked it for a further 10. Then just leave it to cool. I doubt this will last long… I think most of the loaf was consumed in less than 48 hours…

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