Monday, 7 May 2012

Baking Bread - Farm House Loaf

Today has been one of those rainy spring days.  It hasn't rained constantly, but the showers come upon you quickly and if you are caught out in one, you will be drenched to the bone before you can reach cover.  It's the perfect kind of day to bake some bread.  Today, I've made a traditional Farm House Loaf. 


This is my favourite 'everyday' bread recipe.  To make one large loaf or two smaller loaves you will need:

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons yeast or one little envelope of yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons of sugar
3 1/2 strong flour  plus more flour for kneading the dough
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil


In a large bowl, combine the water, sugar and yeast.  Let sit for about five minutes until you see the yeast starting to grow. Add the oil and salt. Stir in the flour a cup at a time.  Stir until you have a smooth thick dough.  Gradually, add more flour a little bit at a time until the dough becomes too stiff to stir.  It is impossible to give exact amounts for the flour. It varies from day to day....flour to flour. 


Dust flour over your work surface and begin kneading the dough.  Continue to gradually add flour and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.   You know it is ready to let rise when you lightly press your finger on the dough and it springs back.  Form the dough into a ball.

Place a small amount of oil your mixing bowl, put the dough in the bowl and turn it around to cover it lightly with the oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles in size.  (Usually about an hour). 

When the dough has risen,  uncover the bowl,  punch down the dough and knead it again for a few minutes.  Divide the dough in half and form two loaves.  Place the loaves in two greased loaf pans.  (Approx.  8 inches long x 3 inches wide)   Cover the loaf pans with a piece of plastic wrap that you have lightly oiled so that the plastic won't stick to the dough as it rises in the pan.  Leave the loaves rise again for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C.   Bake for about 25 minutes until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it.  If you make one large loaf you will have to adjust the baking time accordingly.   Cool the loaves on a wire rack ..... if you can.  I always have to have at least one piece of warm bread with butter!   


3 comments:

  1. I love this bread. Making it for the second time this week.

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  2. My first bread in my new mixer! Was perfect and beautiful!

    Thanks
    Tyler

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    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed making it! Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment.

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