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An ex-construction worker's standard white bread recipe.

I make my bread like I made my mortar on site. I didn't have a mixer so I made a pile of flour, made a well in the middle and put the liquids in there, then carefully folded the flour inwards, being sure to react and stem the flow of any 'breaches' while the liquids were still very runny.

Dry bit;

So, the dry bit is easy. 1 nice pile of strong white bread flour, probably around half a pound, all sieved into place on a board or very flat clean table.

Add a flat tablespoon of salt into the well in the middle and that's it.

Wet bit;

Warm up half a pint of milk in the microwave (30 seconds, no more) then sprinkle a heaped tablespoon of dried yeast into the milk (I measured this the last time I did it and it came to 18g, which I hear is quite a lot!)

The dough;

Pour as much of the milk/yeast mix into the well in the middle of the flour as you dare (I do it all as I'm a godd mortar mixer) and then bring together until you end up with a slightly dry dough and some dry stuff still on the board.

Spread the dough mixture as thinly as you can using finger pokes (so it looks like a sort of proto-Foccaccia I guess) and then sprinlke a little warm water (from the tap is fine) and knead the dough again. Keep doing the spreading/kneading thing until you have managed to collect 99% of the dry stuff off the board into your dough.

Now get stuck into the dough, there are no wrong answers but watching Youtube vids will show you what the pros do.

I usually knock the dough around for about 10 minutes. No, 'knock around' is the wrong word, maybe 'massage' is better. Shape it into a sort of flat bottomed ball.

Now oil a large glass bowl (to stop your dough sticking to it) and pop your dough inside and place the bowl near a radiator away from pets and kids.

Leave for two hours to rise. It'll at least double in size and look brilliant. If this is your first loaf you'll feel like a proper legend at this point.

Now comes the heartbreaking bit...

You need to smash all those air bubbles out of the dough again. That means a good and thorough knead until it's back to the size it was before you popped it in the bowl. Might take you another 5 or 10 mins.

Now pop it onto a tray lined with baking paper (no need to oil the paper) and leave for another hour at least by the radiator. The longer you leave it, the more it will rise but if you leave it too long it'll go pop and sag in the middle.

When you think it looks the part, pop it into a cold oven and stick it on gas mark 7 for 40 minutes.

The cold over will give it a thicker, harder crust. You want a thinner one? Use a pre-heated oven.

After 40 minutes take it out, turn it over and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it's done, and you can leave it to cool right way up on a cooling rack (don't leave it on a flat surface or it goes all sweaty).

If it doesn't sound hollow, don't be scared to pop it back in for another ten minutes.

That's it.

Have fun and, like any good builder, when you're done don't forget to clean your tools because if you leave everything to go hard it's like concrete. Trust me, I'd know.

Dan :)