Over the past few days, where everyone has to stay at home because of the Lockdown that’s enforced as the Covid 19 cases keep rising, I’ve had several requests from friends for a simple recipe to bake white bread. They ask specifically for a “simple” recipe! So I gave them what I already have in my blog, but some have found these recipes even too “professional” as they put it! I looked around to see what can be done to make what I think is already a simple recipe even more simple! This is what I have come up with:
- 355 gm (1 1/2 Cup) water
- 405 gm All purpose flour or bread flour.
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp dried yeast.
Weigh the flour in a plastic bowl. Add in the salt and yeast and stir the dry mixture until it’s as evenly mixed as you can get it. Then add in the water, preferable slightly warmed. With a spatula, mix everything till there’s no dry flour in the bowl. Cover with a plastic bag and let this proof at room temperature for 2 hours. After two hours, place the bowl in the fridge and let the dough proof further overnight or for as long as a week, until you need the bread. The longer it’s proofed, the more “sour-like” the flavour will be.
When you want bread, ( that’s why it’s a “white bread anytime” ), take the bowl containing the dough out of the fridge, and transfer the dough onto a well floured surface. With well-floured hands, shape the dough gently into a boule. Leave this to proof further for 40 minutes on a baking sheet. Score or slice the surface of the boule, before placing it in a hot *Dutch Oven that’s been heated to 235˚C. Bake for 30 mins. Remove the DO cover and bake further for about 5 to 10 minutes till the crust is dark brown. Remove and cool the loaf on a metal rack before slicing.
* If you don’t have a Dutch Oven which is a cast iron pot with a lid, you can use a Pyrex pot with a lid or a Stainless steel pot or a le Creuset pot of a suitable size.
The dough after mixing the flour, salt and dried powdered yeast and then adding warm water.
The dough after refrigerating for 24 hours. You can keep refrigerating for up to a week,
The shaped dough proofing for 40 minutes on a strip of baking paper.
With the lid of the Dutch oven off, bake for another 10 to 15 minutes to brown the crust.
Allow the loaf to cool for at least an hour before slicing. Otherwise the crumb is gooey!
The loaf sliced into two to show the soft crumb and thin crust.
This is to show the open crumb texture which is very soft and the crispy crust. The crumb was so soft that it was tricky to slice the bread with a bread knife. Perhaphs better to just tear pieces apart!
“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”