As you may have seen from an earlier post I'm pretty happy with the sourdoughs I've been knocking out of late. But there are times when only a couple of slices of soft, doughy farmhouse will do - most especially for a bacon sandwich. After a few tries with various recipes (and investing in a loaf tin) I've settled, in the last week or so, on the following method.
Using supermarket flour and dried yeast the cost of the loaf was 30p.
500g strong white bread flour
300ml water (20C - or roughly 2 parts cold water and 1 part boiling water)
7g packet of dried yeast
50ml water (20C)
1 dsp fine salt
Put the flour in a large bowl; dissolve the yeast in the 300ml of water and pour into the bowl; mix roughly and leave for 20 minutes.
Dissolve the salt in the 50ml of water, pour onto the dough, mix in (actually I use my fingers to 'squidge' it all together) and leave for 10 minutes.
Scrape the dough onto your work surface and work the dough by kneading/stretching for about 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth. Although the dough will seem wet and sticky at first, there's no need to flour the work surface or your fingers or the dough - have faith and it will eventually form into a lustrous ball with just a little residual stickiness.
the dough during its first 'working'
Shape the dough into a round, put it back in the bowl, cover (with a towel or cling film or a plastic bag) and leave for 60 minutes.
the dough after its first rise
After the hour has elapsed, scrape the dough back onto your work surface and then knock back and shape as shown in this video:
Lift the shaped dough into an oiled loaf tin:
ready for final proofing
Leave the dough (covered) until roughly doubled in size. This make take an hour; it may take longer. After 1½ hours, my dough looked like this:
Heat your oven to 220C/200C fan. Dust the top of the dough with flour and place in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
The loaf after 35 minutes in the oven
Remove the loaf from the tin and cool on a wire rack for an hour. Then enjoy:
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