Making Fresh Bread On A Work Day

Freshly baked bread with crumbly cheese and tasty bresaola

A friend at work mentioned that he liked bread made using the minimal knead technique. However with work and children (and cats), it took too long on a work night, and the bread was not ready for their dinner time.

I altered the recipe so that dough is prepped before work and baked fresh in the evening. Or prepped in the evening for fresh bread with breakfast.
Continue reading“Making Fresh Bread On A Work Day”

Work Day Bread

70 mins prep (mostly unattended)
up to 10 hours rest (unattended)
25-30 mins cooking
Easy
One 950g loaf or two 475g loaves
Meats and preserves

This recipe uses the principles of the minimal knead process and the method to bake easy bloomer loaves. It’s worth checking out these two blog posts if you haven’t already done so.

Equipment

  • Baking tray or pizza stone
  • Kitchen scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Mixing bowl
  • Timer (kitchen, phone app)
An inexpensive water sprayer is invaluable when baking most breads. It’s used to moisten both dough and oven. Available online (our recommended sprayer) or in hardware stores.

Ingredients

  • 600g strong white bread flour
  • 450ml warm water (300ml cold + 150ml boiling)
  • ½ sachet dry instant yeast (or 1 tsp from a jar)
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Gentle folding keeps air pockets in the dough leading to a loose crumb

Method

Before Going To Work

  1. Add the water to a jug.
  2. Add yeast and sugar to water, stir to dissolve both in the water. Leave for 5 mins.
  3. Mix flour and salt in bowl.
  4. Stir water mixture again, then mix with the flour to create a wet dough. Cover bowl.
  5. Rest the dough in the bowl for 15-20 mins.
  6. On lightly oiled surface, stretch and fold back the dough for 15 seconds. Return to bowl, cover.
  7. Repeat previous two steps twice.
  8. Return to bowl, cover, leave in a cool, cat-safe place. Go to work.

After Work

  1. Greet the family and cats. Check the cats haven’t stolen, or tampered with, the dough.
  2. Turn the dough onto lightly floured worksurface.
  3. Gently stretch and fold the dough three times. Avoid compressing and losing the air bubbles.
  4. Shape into a rounded brick by rolling a little.
    • If making two small loaves split the dough in half, shape into two small rounded bricks.
  5. Place seam side down on floured baking tray (or baking parchment if using a pizza stone). Cover and rest (prove) for an hour.
  6. Whilst the dough is proving, preheat oven to 200°C (220°C for non-fan, using non-fan is recommended). Or hotter if using a pizza stone.
  7. Score the top of dough with knife down the length of the dough.
  8. Add moisture to the oven (very important).
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 200°C fan/220°C non-fan, until the crust is a golden brown.
  10. Cool on a rack. Enjoy with the family. Feed the cats. Not necessarily in that order.

Hints, Tips and Pictures

  1. See the hints and tips for the easy bloomer loaf recipe.
  2. During colder weather, the dough can be left covered in a safe place in the kitchen. In the summer, somewhere slightly cooler, e.g. cupboard under the stairs.
  3. When resting the dough, the aim is to get it to double in size. If you’re going to leave it for more than 8 hours before shaping and proving at the end, consider placing in a room where the central heating isn’t on.
  4. This process can also be used to prepare the dough in the evening, rest overnight and bake the following morning.
Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. Should you choose to buy from Amazon, you will not pay more, Amazon will give me a small commission. This helps pay for the blog hosting.

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