Makes two small or one large loaf
500g Finest Bakers White bread flour
14g sea salt
25g fresh yeast
25g butter, softened
1. Sieve flour into mixing bowl.
2. Cream yeast with sugar and a little water, mix into bowl. Add warm water mixing to make a slack dough.
3. Leave to stand 10 minutes
4. Mix in salt and butter, adding extra water if needed, the dough should be slightly sticky, then knead by hand 10 minutes or in mixer 8 minutes. The dough should then be smooth and silky.
5. Shape into a ball. Leave to rise in a large oiled bowl covered with oiled cling film or a damp teatowel, about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
6. Remove from bowl with a wet scraper and cut in half, weigh each piece to get two identical loaves (or leave whole for 1 large loaf)
7. Shape each piece folding lightley into a sausage and place with join side down into two 250g greased tins, or one 1kg tin. Cover again and leave to rise slowly for 2 hours until dough fills tins.
8. Heat oven to 220c. Place a roasting tin in base of oven and just before baking, pour in some boiling water, the steam will help form a good crust. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or 30-40 for a large loaf.
9. Cool on a wire rack, tap base to see if cooked, it should sound hollow.
A slower rise gives lighter bread, don't hurry it. The butter can be omitted, but it helps the bread to keep longer. I like the Masterchef non stick loaf tins, they don't need greasing and I wipe clean with paper towel afterwards, never wash them. Worth the money.