Whether you bake bread at home or in a commercial environment REAL BREAD WEEK is for you. It’s the annual celebration aimed at supporting local, independent Real Bread Bakery as well as baking your own at home.
So for those of you who may be joining in for the first time or looking to perfect your loaf, here are a few tips to help you on your way:
Keep an eye on the temperature of the dough
Aim for around 24⁰C/75⁰F
Use warm water in the winter and cold water in the summer to get your dough to the right temperature
Temperature of the water depends on the temperature of your room and the temperature of the other ingredients
Use a thermometer to check your dough temperature
Try to keep the dough at a stable temperature throughout the fermenting (proving/proofing) process
The Real Bread Week theme this year is “Doughing it for the kids”
Baking with kids is so much fun. So this weekend we got our hands dirty and got stuck into kneading some dough. The recipe “Bread in four easy steps” we have followed is by Sara Buenfeld.
The thermometer we have used for checking the temperature is the Comark DT400 Thin Tip Pocket Thermometer.
- 500g granary
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- Tip the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix together with your hands. Stir 300ml hand-hot water with the oil and honey, stir into the dry ingredients to make soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins, until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling with a little more flour if you need it.
- Oil the loaf tin and put the dough in the tin, pressing it in evenly. Put in a large plastic food bag and leave to rise for 1 hr, until the dough has risen to fill the tin and it no longer springs back when you press it with your finger.
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Make several slashes across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, and then bake for 30-35 mins until the loaf has risen and golden.
- Tip it out onto a cooling rack and tap the base of the bread to check it is cooked. It should sound hollow. Leave to cool.
You can find this recipe and more on the BBC Good Food Website.