White bread (activated dough development method)

There’s lots of ways to make bread – for me this one is just the best and it’s a great way to make bread when time isn’t on your side. By the addition of an improver you can miss out the first prove – saving over an hour in time. The dough improver really helps – it makes the crumb softer, the crust thinner and the bread whiter. It also extends the bread life.

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Go on, give it a go 🙂

Wot u need
400g strong bread flour
1 flat tsp salt
1 tsp organic improver
12g fresh yeast (or appropriate equivalent of dried)
10g fat (I like Trex though anything will do)
300mls tepid water

Wot u do
Place the flour, fat, flour improver and salt into a mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the water (NOTE: I only add around 270mls first to see – dough should be completely on hook and bottom of bowl clean – over-watering will end up with a sticky blob at bottom when mixing) and add to the flour mix. Use the dough hook on your mixer and mix at low for three minutes and medium for a further 10 minutes. Shape as Coburg or a bloomer or whatever you choose – whatever you do ensure the dough is very tightly shaped.

img_0149Place on a baking tray cover lightly with kitchen towel and allow to prove for 70 minutes till dough doubled. At this point the dough will have flattened a little. Lift it up and kneed it for one minute, make it into a further tight ball – this will help it retain its height. Score if required.

Bake at 220 degrees conventional for 36 mins (I originally had this recipe at 30 mins however more time is needed.) If your dough ends up “wettish” don’t be despondent – next time add five mins to your bake time. Also, the loaf will take it, burning is rare.

If you want a shiny crust rather than a matte-type crust place a baking tin in the bottom of your oven whilst it’s heating. Spray dough lightly with water when entering oven then quickly add a kettle of boiling water to tray and shut door. Remove tray with 10 mins to go and give dough another quick spray of water.

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