I’m not usually one to make bread, I enjoy doing it but as we all know, it takes time and patience. The bread section in the Baking Bible is one that is least baked from, so I thought I’d give it a go and do a crown loaf. The beauty of this is that there’s not really much involved, and the end result looks impressive; cynics may say, it’s just 12 rolls put together, but I say, it’s lovely!
We had a couple of rolls warmed in the oven and with my tomato and basil soup – perfect for this weather! If you fancy learning how to make bread from someone who knows what they’re doing, why not take a look here; Blackbird is based in Twickenham and run regular classes from beginner to making foccacia – and it won’t break the bank either.
- 350 g strong white flour
- 2 tsp fast-action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 20 g butter, melted
- 225 ml warm water
- Milk, to glaze
- Lightly grease an 8″ cake tin. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl (yeast on one side, salt on the other) and mix together by hand, adding the water gradually. You can use your hands or a dough hook onto an electric mixer. Once combined, you’ll find it will be quite a sticky dough.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and sit it on a floured surface; knead by hand for 5 minutes, adding extra flour if needed.
- Transfer to the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover tightly with clingfim (or a showercap as I am particularly fond) and leave it to rise in a warm place. This will take between 1 – 1.5 hours, it needs to double in size.
- Once risen, tip out onto a lightly floured surface again, and knock back by hand for about 5 mins.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll them up into balls (I weighed each piece to make sure they were all the same). Arrange them into the tin so they are snug and touching (8 around the outside, 4 in the middle). Cover the tin with clingfilm if using, and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 mins or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas mark 7; glaze the loaf with a little milk, then bake for 20-25 mins until lightly golden on top and well risen. To make sure it was cooked properly, I took it out of the cake tin and turned it upside down. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.