Tom Herbert's Lush Large Loaf
The foundation stone for great home baking. This recipe for one large loaf is basic, simple, reliable, forgiving and extraordinarily versatile.
560g strong organic white flour (locally grown and milled is best)
10g sea salt
5g of dried yeast (or 10g of fresh yeast if you can get it)
300ml warm water
20ml organic rape seed oil
Set of scales
Large mixing bowl/mixer with dough hook*
Large loaf tin
Oven - 230 degree C at baking time
Baking stone and plastic scraper*
Oven dish for steam*
Weigh the flour and salt into a big bowl. Measure the water and oil into a jug. With a fork, stir the yeast into the water. Empty the jug into the bowl and stir all the ingredients together.
Then knead the dough for 20 minutes (10 minutes in a mixer). Once you have a smooth and elastic dough nestle it back into the bowl and cover in cling film (air tight) and leave it in a warm place to grow to twice its size or for 1 hour (whichever is first).
Then by hand, shape your dough so it fits evenly into a well oiled large loaf tin.
Dust the top of your loaf with a bit of flour and then cover the tin and leave it in a warm place to double in size or for 1 hour (whichever is first).
Meanwhile . . . crank up your oven as high as she goes (max 240 degrees C).
Slash the top of your loaf and offer it into the HOT oven.
Check it after 10 minutes and turn the oven down a notch (210 degrees C).
Take it out when its baked and beautifully golden all over (about 30 minutes).
Let the smell of freshly baked bread fill your home and share the joy of a real loaf.
Tom's top tips
Find a mill you can collect a larger sack of locally grown and stoneground flour from
Use sea salt, it is saltier and better for you
Don't skimp on the kneading or be tempted to add more flour to it
Bake on a baking stone for less brick like results
To get the best out of your loaf keep it in a linen or paper bag in a bread bin
Or once cooled slice and freeze in a freezer bag
Enjoy your lush loaf as toast, sandwiches or soldiers
For more top tips follow Tom on twitter.
For masses of baking inspiration and some sleeves rolled up, hands on experience come on one of my bread making courses. See the Hobbs House Bakery website for more details.