Makes 2 Homemade Bread Loaves
There’s nothing quite like fresh homemade bread. Not only does it taste great, you know exactly what’s going into it. It may take several hours to make but it’s totally worth it in the end result!
This recipe is very versatile. For example, you can swap out the white flour for wholemeal flour for more of a fibre fix, or the sugar for raw honey if you’re trying to cut out white sugar and you can even add in your own grain mix. The possibilities are endless with this basic homemade bread recipe. Serve this bread with my Homemade Butter recipe
- 1kg strong bread flour
- 620ml tepid (lukewarm) warm
- 3 7g sachets dried yeast or alternatively, you can use 30g of fresh yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- Pour the tepid water into a large measuring jug along with the sugar and yeast and mix together until dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. It will become frothy and smell almost like beer.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, put in the flour and salt and mix it together. Create a well in the centre and pour in half of the water mixture. Put the mixer on low speed and allow the dough to start coming together before adding more water. Only add in enough water to create a soft slightly sticky dough. Allow it to knead or 5-10 minutes, you’ll know when it’s done when you press on the dough and it springs back or you can do the windowpane test which is how I like to test it.
- Now it’s time for the first proof. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil, place the dough ball in the bowl and cover loosely with glad wrap or a tea towel and set aside in a warm draft-free place for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
- On a lightly floured bench, turn out the dough and divide into half. This is when you can shape the bread however you like (place it into a bread tin, roll into rolls or place it into a proofing bowl which is what I did.) and cover loosely once again with glad wrap or a tea towel. Set aside for its final proof in a warm draft-free place for about 40 minutes to 1.5 hours. Just before you’re ready to bake, set the oven to 220ºc non-fan or 200ºc fan-forced and place a small oven dish of water on the bottom of the oven (the steam allows for even cooking of the bread and adds moisture).
- Bake the bread for approximately 30-45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. RESIST THE URGE TO CUT INTO THE BREAD WHEN IT’S STILL WARM! This will ruin the integrity of the bread so please try and resist! Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container or large ziplock bag. Bread will last up to 3 days.