I'm sure everyone has had a bread recipe at some time or another but this is the one that I use! I make it in my food mixer with a dough hook, but it can be made just as easily by hand or even in a breadmaker if you have one!
Approx cost per loaf 41p
Prep (inc proving time) 1hr 45 mins Cooking 30 mins
450g strong white bread flour
7g sachet dried yeast
1½ tsp salt
300ml warm water
extra flour for dusting
Place the flour, salt, sugar & yeast in a bowl.
Gradually stir in the water then bring it all together with your hands to form a dough.
On a floured work surface knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes until smooth & elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl & leave to rise somewhere warm for about an hour. You want it to double in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl & place on a floured surface again. Give it a couple of quick punches then knead again for about 1 minute. This is called “knocking back” & it's necessary to get all the excess air out of the dough before proving.
Shape the dough into a round & then place on a baking tray, cover & leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
Before cooking make 3 slits in the bread then bake in the oven at 200 Fan/220C/Gas 7 for about 25-30 minutes.
Once cooked the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the base.
For a crispier crust sprinkle or spray the dough with water before cooking!
Store in a bread bin if you have one, I usually wrap it in foil as I find it works better than cling film but to be honest it gets eaten so quickly it isn't really a problem!