I’ll go to any lengths to avoid running errands in the rain. Today was avoidance on a whole new level – I decided to bake bread so that I wouldn’t have to leave the house to pick up a loaf for dinner.
And, as it turns out, this was the best idea I’ve had in days – the house smells great, the bread is fluffy and light with a great crunchy crust, and I feel smug because I’ve saved a few pennies. I also have dry feet.
I used a fool-proof recipe from BBC’s Good Food, a very simple five-ingredient dough that is hard to mess up and easy enough to pop in the oven when you can’t be bothered going to the shops.
Here’s the recipe – it’s a keeper!
Easy white bread recipe
500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
7g sachet fast-action yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead. Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough, then gently mould the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.
Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.
Eat this bread when still hot from the oven, swiped with some butter. Nothing fancy required when the bread is so fresh!