Bread is a recipe I’ve wanted to share on Baking with Granny for quite some time, and right now with all that is going on in the world, it seems like a pretty good time to get my bum in gear and share our Easy Bread recipe with the world.
Bread is always one of the first staples to be sold out in a crisis (after toilet roll, apparently…) which is understandable. It is so versatile and can be used as part of any of your three main meals, as well as snacking; toast, sandwiches, with soup…just to name a few.
If you’re now finding yourself in similar circumstances to us – either in lock down and struggling to get to the shops, or when you do get to the supermarkets there isn’t even a bread crumb left on the shelves – fear not! Our Easy Bread recipe is, well, just that…EASY!
This bread can be made with just a few store-cupboard ingredients, and if you don’t happen to have any Strong Bread Flour, you can easily swap it for Plain Flour; just be sure to read the ingredient tips below.
The best bread I’ve ever tasted!
I promise you that even the most novice of home bakers will feel like an expert bread maker with this recipe, as there’s really nothing that you can go wrong with. Simply start with your dry ingredients in bowl, add the wet ingredients, mix and knead, then let the dough do the rest of the hard work.
No mixers, no dough-hooks, no bread makers… This is good old fashioned, Easy Bread – just like all our Granny’s used to bake. And lets face it, they were/are the experts in surviving tough times! Stay safe bakers.
Strong Bread Flour
For the most predictable bread dough, Strong Bread Flour is the best. This is due to the amount of protein (ie. gluten) in the flour, which gives the bread a good structure and chew factor.
However if you don’t have any or can’t get your hands on some, Plain Flour is a decent alternative; you’ll just need to work the dough a little harder when kneading to activate what gluten is in the flour. Take a look at the Baking with Granny Instagram to see just how much Granny works a dough made with Plain Flour.
Oh and you can of course use Wholemeal Flour, should you prefer.
Fast Action Yeast
There was a time when you could buy various types of yeast but nowadays, Fast Action Yeast in 7g sachets is the most accessible. It also works brilliantly in many recipes but especially this Easy Bread, as no extra measuring, or preparation is required to activate it.
When it comes to baking bread, you don’t want your yeast getting ahead of itself. That’s where salt comes in! Salt retards the yeast and slows it down, giving the gluten in your flour time to strengthen and develop. It also adds to the flavour.
Although this is actually an optional extra in your bread (so don’t worry if you don’t have any) it adds a little something more. I personally use margarine because we always have it to hand and it suits the vegans amongst us. But you could even experiment with different oils for a subtle change in taste.
Cool water will also work but you’ll be left waiting a while for your dough to come to life. Warm water is preferable but just don’t let it be too hot either.
- 500 g Strong White Flour
- 7 g Fast-action Yeast (one sachet)
- 2 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Butter/Margarine/Oil (whichever you prefer)
- 300 ml Warm Water
- In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast and salt and mix to combine. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the butter/margarine/oil and warm water. Mix to combine, adding a little more water if required, and using your hands to bring together into a soft, lumpy, slightly sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a piece of oil cling film, or a damp tea towel. Allow the dough to rise for at least 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
- Line a baking sheet with some greaseproof paper and set aside. Knock back the dough (by gently punching the air from the dough and pulling it back on itself) before forming into your desired loaf shape.
- Place the loaf onto your prepared baking sheet (covering again with the oiled cling film or damp tea towel) and leave to prove for a further 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.Pre-heat your oven to 220°c (200°c for fan assisted ovens or Gas Mark 7).
- Before baking, with a sharp knife add a few scores to the top of your bread. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow with tapped underneath.Leave to cool on a wire rack or enjoy warm, sliced with lots of butter.
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