Classic bread loaf
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10 (makes 10 slices)
Time to make:
2 mins, prep 90 mins, cook 35 mins
$0.21 per serve
(at time of publication)
Full ingredients list:
- 500g plain bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon reduced-fat spread (suitable for baking)
- 8g sachet instant dry yeast
- 300ml warm water
- extra flour for kneading
- olive oil spray
- 2 tablespoons skim milk
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds as a topping (optional)
Nutritional information (per serve)
Instructions and steps:
Step 1 Preheat oven to 200ºC. Sift flour into a bowl. Stir in salt and sugar and using fingers, rub in the reduced-fat spread.
Step 2 Sprinkle in the yeast sachet and stir to spread through the flour evenly. Add warm water to the flour. Use a spoon to combine together to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.
Step 3 Knead the mixture together in the bowl for a few minutes and then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5–7 minutes until a smooth, elastic dough is formed. Place in a warmed, lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or lightly greased cling film. Leave in a warm place to double in size (ideally over the oven). This will take 30–45 minutes.
Step 4 Remove dough from bowl and place on work surface; it should feel quite springy at this stage. Knock back the dough on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a round or oval shape, cover and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.
Step 5 Slash the top of the loaf with a knife in 2cm intervals. Brush loaf with milk. If desired, sprinkle top with pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes until golden brown.
Gluten-free raisin and cinnamon bread: Place 500g gluten-free bread flour in a bowl with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 3 tablespoons raisins. Separately, mix sachet of yeast with 450ml warm water. Add to bread mix, using electric beater to combine for 3 minutes or until smooth. Transfer dough to a lightly greased loaf tin. Cover; leave to rise for 30–40 minutes. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Brush with 2 tablespoons honey. Serve.
- The proving (rising) of bread dough relies on warm conditions, so warm up the kitchen by preheating the oven. You should also ensure all ingredients and utensils are warm, including water – this helps the yeast work.
- The timings of making bread will vary depending on how warm your kitchen is; if you make bread during the summer months the proving process could be faster.
- Bake the bread loaf in the centre of the oven.
- Bread flour is different to plain flour. Find it in the baking section.
- 'Knock back the dough' by giving it a good knead to get all the extra air out of it, so you can shape it.
About this recipe
First published: August 2009