Intro: Making White Bread by Hand
I got the recipe for making white bread from my father who worked in a bakery at one point in his life, this recipe does not use a bread maker or food processor or electric mixers of any kind, this is all by hand.
you will need
1Kg Bread Flour (strong white flour)
600ml Warm Water
1 Tsp Sunflower oil
a large mixing bowl
cups (for holding ingredients)
a black bin liner
a tea towel
Step 1: Mixing and Kneading
once they are mixed together make it into a ball, lightly flour the worktop and your hands, get ready for some exercise.
Knead the dough for no less than 10 minutes, I set a timer on my iPhone, for those who do not know how to need what you do is stretch the dough using the heel of your hand pushing the dough out, then fold in half and give it a quarter turn and do again, quarter turn and knead, keep going for the full ten minutes.
here is a video I found to show you how to knead.
Step 2: The First Rise
now you need to leave it to rise.
brush a bowl using a pastry brush with sunflower oil, place your dough in the middle and brush the dough with oil.
put the whole bowl with the dough in it inside a black bin liner, twist the bag so its sealed and put the end under the bowl.
Now leave it for 1 and a half hours, preferably in a warm place, it was warm in my kitchen so I didn't need to move it.
why are we doing this, we put it in the bag so it can sweat, during this time the yeast will produce co2 and the dough will double in size.
Step 3: Knocking Back and Second Rise
Take the bowl out of the bag.
we now need to push out the excess gases, this is called knocking back, what you do is press your fist in to the dough a couple of times, you will hear a hiss as you do this.
now we need to prepare the dough for the second rise also known as proofing, if you're making loaves like I was just cut the dough in half and gently form it in to a loaf shape by folding the edges underneath, if you want to make rolls cut it up in to a dozen pieces and gently form them in to rough balls.
take your tea towel and make it damp and place it over you dough and leave it for 45 minutes.
if you have a gas oven now would be the time to preheat it, if you're using a fan assisted oven then you can leave it until 15 minutes before the second rise has finished.
for electric ovens preheat to 175 degrees Celsius (350 F), gas mark 5 for those using a gas oven.
Step 4: Baking Time
now the second rise has finished take the cloth off and cut a couple of shallow cuts across the dough.
brush some oil on the surface of a baking sheet and put 1 piece of dough in the middle.
put your sheet in the centre of the oven.
check your loaves after 40 minutes, to check them see if they are lightly brown, if they are tap the top of the loaf it should sound hollow, also tap the bottom which should also sound hollow. if they don't pop them back in and check on them again in 5 minutes.
once they are ready put them on a wire rack to cool, I like to leave them until they are just a little warm, then cut and eat with just some butter. MMMMMMMM Tasty.