I usually bake my own bread, and sometimes make extra loaves to give away. There’s something special about giving a still-warm loaf of home-made bread to friends or family.
I have finally discovered, through trial and error, a bread recipe to please everyone in my family – it’s not too grainy and not too ‘white’.
This dough recipe makes one large loaf. I buy the multi-grain (includes 8 grains) flour from an Indian grocer (the brand is DEEP Indian Gourmet).
500 grams strong bakers flour
100 grams multi-grain flour (use 400g bakers flour to 200g multi-grain for a heavier loaf)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
400 mls lukewarm water
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 & 1/2 teaspoons yeast
Dissolve sugar in small amount of the lukewarm water, add the yeast.
Sift flour and salt.
When yeast is fluffy in about 5 minutes, add remaining water and olive oil.
Make a hole in the centre of flour mixture, add yeast water, and mix in quickly.
Knead vigorously for up to ten minutes.
Place dough in large oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave for 40 minutes to double in size in warm place.
When dough has doubled in size, gently shake bowl, upside down, to release the dough onto floured surface. Handle gently to expel excess air and then place in large loaf tin.
Leave in a warm place to double in size again for 40 minutes, then spray lightly with fresh water for a crunchy crust. Bake in 200° forced fan oven (210° ordinary oven) for 25 minutes or until the bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
I heat the oven to 200° (fan forced) with a pizza stone on the bottom rung, for at least 40 minutes before putting the loaf in. You will never have a loaf that is uncooked on the bottom if you use a pizza stone. Once cooked, leave the loaf for ten minutes to cool before slicing (if you can wait that long!)