The bread I normally bake on Mondays is a white loaf ideal for sandwiches for the rest of the week. No fancy flavours here. No need to leave it overnight to prove – this is a bread you can make in a few hours with no pre-planning required.
Mix 450g of strong white bread flour with 50g wholemeal bread flour. Add a teaspoon of fast action yeast and a teaspoon of salt. Then mix in about 350g of water, more if you think that it needs it. Pull together in the bowl into a rough dough.
Knead using whatever method you prefer. I sometimes add a bit more water at this stage if the dough seems too dry – just dip your fingers in water and drizzle it over the dough. Once the dough is soft and stretchy (you should be able to stretch it until its nearly see through) leave to rise at room temperature.
After about 2 hours it should look like this.
Remove from the bowl. Flatten and shape. I use a proving basket as I like ridged pattern but the bread doesn’t need this level of support. Coat in rye flour and leave to prove. You can tell its ready if, when you press it with the pad of your finger, it returns slowly to shape. If it bounces straight back it needs longer. This will probably be about a 40-60 minutes.
Preheat your oven to its highest temperature with a roasting tin in the bottom. When your bread is ready, slash it with a knife and put it in the oven. Quickly pour boiling water into the roasting tray and bake for 10min. Turn the oven down to 220C and give it another 25-30 min until its baked. I use my probe thermometer to tell when it’s ready (I’ve never been very good a judging “hollowness”!). I take it out of the oven when its got to 200F inside (yes the F is right – it was from an American site and I find it easier to remember)
So there you have it – Monday Bread. What do you think?