My wife and I are hooked on having fresh bread almost every day with our lunch so I came up with this method which saves time as I make my bread by hand. I usually use French 55 flour or white spelt.
We don’t want large loaves as there is too much wastage so I make six small ones.
1 Kilo flour of choice
10-12gm easy bake yeast
666gm tepid water (a little less if using spelt)
Small baking tin, greased ( I use a round non-stick about 6inch diameter and 3.5inches high – from Sainsburys)
I start the dough off in a mixing machine with a dough hook, half of the ingredients at a time, and then knead the two amounts into one. This doesn’t take long, about ten minutes for the whole operation.
The dough goes into a greased bowl, covered with foil and allowed to prove for 45-60 minutes until it roughly doubles in size. Don’t let it rise too much at this stage as it will continue to ferment.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
Split the dough into roughly 6 equal portions, usually about 280gm each.
One at a time gently stretch and fold each of these until they form a ball. Roll it in the flour and pop it into a small freezer bag or other individual container. When they are all bagged up into the freezer with them. The yeast will continue to work for a while until the temperature drops enough.
The next step depends on the ambient temperature. If it is quite warm take one of the frozen dough balls from the freezer just before you go to bed, in cooler times it can come out earlier in the evening. Remove it from the freezer bag, place it in the greased baking tin and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave it to thaw and rise over night.
By 6am the bread should be filling the tin and be ready to bake so heat the oven as high as you can, for me it is 240 degrees C with fan. When it reaches temperature pop the tin in and set your timer for 23 minutes or whatever you preference is. I leave it a few minutes only at full temperature and then turn it down to 200 C.
After about 10 minutes I turn the loaf out of the tin and continue cooking to give a nice golden crust all over.
This method works just as well with my Naan/pizza base recipe allowing me to make up a quantity in one go to be used as required.