Simple White Bread

This very easy bread recipe is from Doris Brett’s fabulous Australian Bread Book. She describes it as a “no-frills bread… simple, but remarkably tasty, with a lot of body.” It’s a very fast and high riser, which is excellent if you’re in a bit of a hurry. It also makes lovely bread rolls as well as being an fantastic loaf bread.

2 teaspoons (one 7 gram sachet) dried yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons salt
4 cups white flour

Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes until frothy.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix three cups of flour, salt and the remaining sugar. Add the frothy yeast mixture, and the remaining water.

Slowly add the last cup of flour and any extra needed until the mixture is stiff enough to form a dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Note – I never knead dough for 15 minutes – my limit is usually about 5 minutes. I’m not sure how much difference this makes to the finished loaf. My dough always feels smooth and elastic, and the bread is lovely. One day I’ll have to experiment with kneading for longer to see if it makes any difference.)

Brush or spray a large bowl lightly with oil, place the dough inside, and cover lightly with plastic or a tea-towell. Allow the dough to stand and double in volume.

When the dough has risen, punch it down and knead briefly. Either shape it into 12 rolls, and place them into greased muffins tins, or onto a tray, or place the dough inside a bread tin. (Niki at Esurientes has some great tips and thoughts on breadmaking here.) Cover the dough, and let it double in volume.

When the dough has risen, bake in a preheated oven at 190C. The rolls with need about 15 minutes, the bread tin about 30 minutes. To tell if bread is baked, roll it out of the tin, and tap the bottom of the loaf or roll – it should sound crisp and hollow.

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