Bread really is the staff of life. Much of the shop bought is doughy, wet, and quite unlike real bread should be.
A good loaf should be baked in a fast ‘hot oven’ (i use a coal oven) it should be well risen when baked, light, crusty, and when tapped on the underside the loaf should sound hollow. temperature of oven needs to be at least 400f
This recipe is given from my great grandmothers, who baked 28 pound of bread per week for the workers and family on the farm.
I have adapted the recipe for a smaller amount.
A good loaf you will need 1 pound of Wholmeal bread flour, plus half pound of White bread flour in a mixing bowl.
This recipe will make two large loaves.
Add to this 1 heaped teaspoon salt, .and two tablespoons of Oil. Then add a big tablespoon of malt extract,. or Honey if preferred
Prepare your yeast, which must be fresh bakers yeast. It should resemble Putty, and be soft and pliable, not crumbly and dry.
Hot water at 120f should be comfortable to put your hand in. about three quarters of a pint.
stir into the water 1 ounce of yeast plus a teaspoon of Honey
stir till yeast is Dissolved, leave a few minutes for it to work. then add liquid to flour etc.. Now get those hands in, kneading and gathering the dough up till it is a soft mass, add more water if needed, because some flours are dryer some more damp.
Bread dough is very forgiving, if you add too much water you can add more flour and vice versa. ‘But do not drown the miller’
(i.e.do not add to much water)
Put this dough on a board, floured and knead this for about 15 minutes. (this is a good way of getting rid of all your frustrations)
If using a machine, once the dough has gathered up into a mass put on high speed and beat with dough hook for two minutes.
Now put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel. and put somewhere warm to rise till doubled in bulk.
If the yeast is really fresh the dough will have risen in about half an hour.
Knock back the dough and shape into what ever loaves or cakes you like, or prefer.
If you put dough in loaf tins make sure they are well greased out with butter or lard
Put the dough now to prove, this is a quick re-rising of the dough before baking. (prove it’s worth as good bread)
Again, once the dough has practically doubled in size, quickly put into middle shelf of oven, a loaf will take about 40 minutes to bake,
small bread buns about ten minutes.
cool the bread on a wire rack.
Always keep bread in an earthenware crock or wood tub.
Bread will not keep in a metal bread bin.