One of my favourite aromas is that of freshly baked bread, even beating a good red wine. And it’s easy to make a crusty, tasty loaf at home with virtually no effort.
Home-Baked Bloomer Loaf
This recipe requires minimal kneading … three 15-second kneads, let the dough rise, bake and enjoy. It’s perfect for hectic home life – a quick knead and then go do something else. Read a book, play a game, pump some iron, whatever.
If you haven’t seen them yet, check out these previous posts:
- scoring the dough
- the addition of moisture
- fan vs non-fan oven discussions
- using a pizza stone to kick-start the rise
- Baking tray or pizza stone
- Kitchen scales
- Measuring jug
- Mixing bowl
- Timer (kitchen, phone app)
- 600g strong white bread flour
- 400ml warm water (300ml cold + 100ml boiling)
- ½ sachet dry instant yeast (or 1 tsp from a jar)
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Put the dry ingredients in bowl. Add the water and mix together to form a wet dough. Cover the bowl and rest the dough for 20 mins.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly oiled worksurface. Stretch and knead the dough for 15 seconds then return to the bowl and cover the bowl. Leave for 20 mins.
- Repeat previous step twice on a floured (not oiled) worksurface.
- Leave the dough until it has increased in volume by about 50%. Then turn it onto a floured worksurface, knead and shape it into a rounded brick by rolling a little. If making two small loaves, split the dough in half, shape into two small rounded bricks.
- Place the dough seam side down on floured baking tray (or baking parchment if using a pizza stone). Cover the dough and leave until risen by 50%.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (220°C for non-fan, using non-fan is recommended). Or hotter if using a pizza stone.
- Score the top of dough with knife down the length of the dough and add moisture to the oven (very important).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 200°C fan/220°C non-fan, until the crust is a golden brown. Then cool the freshly baked loaf on a rack.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth, plastic bag, shower cap or plate. This prevents the dough from drying out.
- Kneading can be explained in many paragraphs … or more simply by watching a youtube clip.
- During the second rise (or proving) stage, watch the dough, not the clock. Volume change is the key factor.The time for this stage varies with the ambient temperature of the room, normally between 30 minutes and an hour. It will probably be quicker during the summer months.
- Use the following steps to form the shape before proving.
- Score the top before baking by doing this: