Today we are sharing a fabulous The Artisanal White Bread recipe (it’s as good as your favourite baker’s bread but straight from your oven). You’ll be so proud of yourself. A bit more complicated than Gilly’s basic bread recipe given earlier in lockdown, but this recipe is still really easy to do and is even better. After all, it’s just flour water and yeast so how hard can it be….!
First you need to make the starter. This sits for 12 hours in a warm spot. This should be done the night before or early in the morning if making in the evening.
Artisanal White Bread
For the Starter
¼ Tsp Instant Yeast
100g Stoneground Bread Flour (I like Champagne Valley Stoneground Bread Flour if you can get it)
125ml Warm water
Mix ingredients together in a small bowl and cover with a cloth. Place in a gentle warm spot and leave for 12 hours.
For the Dough
1 Tsp Instant Yeast
700 ml Warm Water
1 Kg Stoneground Bread Flour
I mix in a large bowl with a metal spoon but an electric mixer with a dough hook is easier if you have one. So, take a large bowl and mix the flour, yeast and salt together till blended and then add the warm water and keep mixing until the dough is combined with no flour remaining.
Cover with a tea towel in a warm spot for 20 mins (If it’s a cold day pop it near a towel rail or something warm).
Now add the Starter to the dough and mix again. Cover and put place it back in the warm spot for 1 ½ hours.
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees and place a roasting pan half full with water at the bottom (this helps to make the bread crusty). Find a clear working space and dust it thoroughly with flour. Taking a spatula, tip the dough out onto the work bench and use a knife to cut the dough into two even mounds. Flip each of them over so that they are gently coated in flour from the surface. Now leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
Your dough needs to be folded to give it some strength and shape. First make it into a round and then holding onto one side pull it outwards and then bring it into the middle. The dough will be slightly wet where you have stretched it. Do this on the other side. Turn the dough and pull an alternate corner into the middle. Repeat this process again and again, so that each side is folded into the middle several times. (Don’t stress about getting this right, it’s basically just folding the dough over and over into the middle from different sides).
Turn the dough over and tuck any folded messy part underneath. Gently pull the dough so that it lengthens into whatever shape you fancy. You can do a country loaf round, or an oblong Ciabatta shape or a baguette. If you want a baguette, use your hands to roll the dough into a rolling pin shape. Now repeat with the second ball of dough and place both prepared doughs onto a baking sheet with grease proof paper underneath. To get the tiger stripes look, use a knife to make three cuts into the top of the loaf. Now pop the tray into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden (ovens vary so check at 30 minutes). Enjoy with soup, with family or straight from the oven with butter!
Love the Wedgewood Team x