Homemade Basic Bread

The Homemade Basic Bread Recipe is lots of fun, and the smell of baking bread will make your mouth water! This easy basic dough recipe can be made into delicious rolls or a traditional loaf. For tips on how to knead, turn to page 43. If you want to make wholewheat bread, replace the white bread flour with wholewheat bread flour. Makes: 1 Loaf

Homemade Basic Bread Recipe
1½ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
12 fl oz (350 ml) lukewarm water
4 cups (500 g) white bread flour
2 tsp salt

Lightly grease a 2 lb (900 g) loaf pan with butter. Place the yeast, sugar, and a little of the water in a small bowl, stir well, and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, until frothy.

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the frothy yeast mixture and remaining water. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes. Place back in the bowl, cover with a damp dish towel, and leave in a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly “punch down” the dough to knock out the large air bubbles. Then knead it lightly on a floured surface for a few minutes.

Shape the dough into a rectangle and tuck the ends under to fit into the pan. Place in the pan. Cover with the damp dish towel; leave to rise in a warm place for a further 30 minutes.

Place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until risen and golden. Turn out the loaf and tap the base it should sound hollow. Place on a cooling rack.

To make rolls: At Step 5 divide the dough into 8 balls. Flatten slightly. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover with a damp dish towel, and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Brush the tops with milk, then sprinkle over some seeds (such as sesame or sunflower). Bake for 20–25 minutes.
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