- 250g malted brown bread flour
- 250g white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 5g quick yeast
- 10g sea salt
- 350ml water
- A little olive oil for kneading
Measure the flours, salt and yeast into a large bowl. Mix together. Fold the water into the flour.
Swirl everything together till all the flour comes away from the bowl and you have a sticky ball of dough. Add more water if it’s looking too dry, or more flour if it’s way too sticky. NOTE: it’s better for the dough to be too sticky vs too dry.
Knead for 5 mins - rub a little oil on your hands first to keep the dough from sticking. Just keep working the dough till it’s smooth and a little shiny.
Plonk the dough back into your bowl. Cover with a big plate. Set in a warm place to rise for 3 hours or till doubled in size (you can leave it overnight in the fridge, if you like).
Punch the risen dough down. Brush a baking tray with oil. Lightly dust with flour. Add a gloss of oil to your hands. Shape the dough into a smooth ball. Set in the middle of your baking tray. Set aside to rise for 30 mins, or till about doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 230C/Fan 210C/Gas 8. Set a roasting tin half full of water in the bottom of the oven (this will create steam like a professional bread oven).
Get an adult to help you score the top of your loaf with a knife: you can do a cross, a tic tac toe board (minus the knots and crosses) or a wheat sheaf.
Set the bread in the centre of the oven. Cook for 15 mins at the high temperature. Lower the heat to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Cook a further 20 mins or till the loaf has risen further, is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
Let it rest for 15 mins (allowing all the steam to escape) before cutting into it.
TECHNIQUE Fun patterns for your loaf Get your parents to do this but tell them what pattern you want: Criss Cross – Simply cut an X on the top of your loaf once it’s shaped and risen. Cut about 2cm deep, right across the top of the loaf. Tic Tac Toe – Cut two lines one way, and two the other way. It’ll look like a square with fringy edges. Again, cut about 2cm deep, right across the top of the loaf. Wheat Sheaf – Cut a line down the centre. Then, cut three little diagonals on each side of the big line, making it look a little bit like a wheat sheaf.
ACTIVITY Homemade Play dough 1 mug of water ½ mug salt A few squeezes of freshly grated beetroot (squeezed over a sieve to tickle the dough pink) 2 tbsp oil 1 mug of flour Whisk the salt into the water till it’s dissolved. Add the beetroot juice or dye if using. Whisk in 2 tbsp oil. Fold in the flour. Mix it together. Add a little more oil, water and/or flour to reach the right consistency. Can you make a strawberry out of your pink dough? What else can you make?