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Basic Cold-raised Sandwich Bread


100% (1kg) Shipton Mill Finest Bakers White Bread Flour - No.1 (101)
63% (630g) lukewarm water
1.3% (13g) salt
1.5% (15g) honey
2.0% (20g) fresh yeast


Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.

Mix the yeast and honey into the water and leave it to proof for a few minutes. This is just to get the yeast started. Mix in the salt and pour the mixture into the mixing bowl containing the flour.

Using a bread hook, mix at low speed for around 5 minutes until you have a nice elastic dough, slightly on the dry side (or you can hand mix for around 10 minutes, adding the flour gradually into the liquid).

Lightly oil one 2.5 litre loaf tin (or two smaller ones depending on the slice size you want) using a taste-neutral oil. Fill the dough into the tin(s) so that they are half filled, form a smooth top on the dough and brush it with a bit of oil.

Seal the tin(s) tightly with cling film and place in a fridge. You ideally want the dough to proof overnight or at least for 6-8 hours but if it rises faster and pushes off the cling film you may need to bake sooner.

After proofing remove from fridge and make a quite deep longitudinal cut through the dough, centrally along the whole length, and brush liberally with water (this is in order to prevent the top crust from forming too quickly, we want a thin crust).

Place in an oven pre-heated to 220 degrees C (gas mark 7, 200-210 fan) and bake for 25 minutes. Keep an eye on the colour of the crust and cover with foil if it is getting too dark - you want a light brown colour.

Remove from tin after 25 minutes and tap top, sides and bottom. All should sound crisp and hard. If the top is still soft, increase oven temperature and bake for a further 5 minutes right side up. Test again. If the top is good but the bottom is soft bake for 5 minutes upside down until crisp and not too dark on all sides.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting.

This is a basic sandwich bread with small pores, firm and easy to cut. The taste is quite neutral but enhances whatever topping or filling is applied to it by being very slightly sweet and salty. This particular flour is excellent for this type of bread.

It is also a good base for experimentation. Try e.g. to add various herbs to create special types of breads for particular dishes or sandwich types.

The photo shows a typical Danish open sandwich including a thin layer of butter, hard boiled sliced eggs, mayo, prawns and basil (dill is also good). Seasoned with freshly ground black pepper. Bon appetit!