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How to bake bread at home

Although the shelves in supermarkets aren't as empty as they were at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, baking your own bread still makes a lot of sense. You get healthier bread that can be personalised to your taste, and there's a lot of fun in baking. Even if you're new to baking, this recipe should be an easy one. You'll end up with two loaves of bread in two hours.

Ingredients

You'll need the following ingredients -

500g strong bread flour

7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

1 tablespoon of salt

300ml warm water

2 tablespoons on sunflower oil

1 tablespoon of honey

At the moment, it's hard to find flour in the shops. That's because more of us are baking than usual. The National Association of British and Irish Millers (NABIM) say the industry is in the process of doubling production but still struggling to meet demand. Emily Munsey, who runs Wessex Mill, told the BBC they've, "increased production about four-fold but we're nowhere close to meeting the demand we've seen."

Step 1

There's a four-stage process to baking bread with this recipe. Each is easy enough to follow. To begin, tip the flour into a mixing bowl with the yeast and salt. Now stir in water, honey and the oil. Using your hands, bring all that together to make a soft dough. Tip this on a lightly floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes. Doing this makes delicious airy-bread.

Step 2

While kneading the dough, make sure you don't add flour in. That dries out the dough and create a tough texture to your bread. If you're finding the dough sticking to your hands, lightly oil them.

Step 3

Once you've kneaded it for long enough (at least 10 minutes), turn the dough into an oiled bread tin. Then oil some cling film which you cover the tin with. Some people use a shower cap. That's the ideal thing to use, but it has to be one you haven't used before. Now, put it in a warm place until the bread has filled the tin. That should take between one and two hours.

Step 4

Now it's time to bake. Put the bread tin into the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6. You need to leave it in for between 30 and 35 minutes. When it's ready, it'll be golden brown. Now tip it out of the tin. Tapping the base can help get it out smoothly. The breed should sound hollow when it's fully cooked through. If it doesn't make that sound when you tap it, put it back in for 10 more minutes. That's all it takes.

Overall, this will take three hours, of which you'll only need to spend 30 minutes working. The rest of the time is for proving and then cooking the bread. You'll get one large loaf that's easy to bake and tasty to eat.

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