24 June 2013
PH uses this basic recipe to make a bloomer, with slow, cool rising and proving - which I found a bit dense and chewy, although the crust is fantastic.
My version is raised and proved in a very low oven, which gives very repeatable results.
500g strong white bread flour
7g fast-action yeast
40ml olive oil
12 slices per loaf
Source: Waitrose Food Monthly, May 2013
Begin by mixing and kneading the dough in a mixer with a dough hook.
In the bowl of the mixer, weigh out the flour and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
Add the oil, and 240ml of cool water. Switch on the mixer, then add more water (up to 80ml) to make a soft dough. The amount of water required will depend on your flour.
Leave the mixer running to knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Flour your work surface, and turn the dough out onto it - the flour will make it easier to handle, as it's sticky at this stage.
Form the dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl to rise. Cover with oiled clingfilm, and put the bowl into an oven at 30 deg C.
After an hour, it will have more than doubled in size, and will be smooth, strechy and full of air.
Turn out the dough and knock it back, folding it in on itself from the outside in.
Here you could simply form the loaf and allow it to prove for 40 mins, but I use a banetton. Form the dough into a neat ball and place it smooth side down in the banetton.
Prove your dough in the oven at 30 deg C. When your loaf has doubled in size, it's ready to bake.
Turn the oven up to 220 deg C. When it's hot, turn your loaf out of the banetton onto a tray lined with baking parchment. Put a bowl of water into the bottom of the oven to make steam.
Bake for 25 minutes, then lower the temperature to 200 and bake for 10-15 minutes longer.
It's done when the crust has a good colour and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so here goes:
Ready to bake