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The lockdown loaf

Tracy Knatt
This is a super easy loaf of white bread which is made with four ingredients, and perfect for lockdown (if, indeed, you are able to get your hands on white flour!).
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Proving time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 1 loaf

Equipment

  • 1kg / 2lb loaf tin

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g strong white bread flour
  • 7 g fast action yeast
  • 350 ml warm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Mix all of your ingredients together until a soft but not sticky dough is formed. You might not need all of the water, so start with 300ml water first of all and slowly add the rest of the dough is too dry.
    Lockdown loaf first mix
  • Knead for 10 minutes using the dough hook attachment of your mixer, or by hand on a clean and floured work surface. Although I use my food mixer to knead my dough, I do sometimes give Ioan a bit of it to 'knead' by hand and then surreptitiously put it in the bin when he is not looking ... he feels he has made the bread then.
    Lockdown loaf first prove
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and lightly oil the bowl. Then put the dough back in that same bowl and cover with clingfilm and allow it to rise until doubled in size (this takes around 1 hour, but I have forgotten about it before and it hasn't caused any harm).
    Lockdown loaf proving
  • Punch the dough down to deflate it (Ioan loves to do this bit) and then put it into a 1kg / 2lb loaf tin (I use a silicone 'tin' so I don't grease it, but you may want to lightly grease your tin if you aren't confident of how non-stick it is!), cover with the clingfilm and allow to rise for around 30 minutes (again, I have forgotten about this before and have left it until the dough is escaping out of the top of the tin, but apart from a freaky shaped loaf, this hasn't caused me any problems).
  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan / 200 degrees non-fan / gas mark 6, around 10 minutes before you plan to bake the loaf.
  • Put the tin of dough in the oven and bake for around 45 minutes - you can tell the loaf is fully baked by taking it out of the oven and tipping the loaf onto a wire rack and tapping the base of the bread with a wooden spoon. If it sounds hollow (like it does if you tap the top of the loaf) then it is baked through, and you can leave it to cool on a wire rack ... or alternatively slice and butter it while still hot because why not? Hot buttered bread straight out of the oven (especially the end crust) is possibly the most delicious thing in the whole wide world!
    Lockdown loaf on the rack

Notes

You can substitute white flour for wholemeal flour, or a 50-50% mixture of the two.
Keyword Bread, easy recipe