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How to bake bread at home

Fancy making your own bread? The cookery show you how to knead, knock back and prove dough to bake the perfect loaf.

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Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the oil and water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it until the dough becomes satin-smooth.

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Place it in a lightly oiled bowl to prove. Leave to prove for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.
Knock back the dough, then gently mould it into a ball. Place it on a baking tray lined with parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.

Mobirise

Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross, about 6cm wide, into the top of the loaf.
Preheat the oven to 220˚C/fan 200˚C/gas 7 and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Bake until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
Cool on a wire rack. 


Proof the yeast. Make sure the water is warm to the touch. If you can’t comfortably hold your finger in the water for several seconds, wait for it to cool. Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. 

What does a loaf of white sandwich bread make you think of? For me, these pillowy, slightly sweet loaves conjure sandwiches in wax paper, French toast on Saturday mornings, and picnics in the park. If you’ve been thinking of trying your hand at homemade sandwich bread, here’s a great recipe to make first. 

1

White sandwich bread should be sturdy enough to support a generous spread of mayo and few layers of deli meat, but still soft enough to chew easily. It also shouldn’t crumble to pieces halfway through eating.

2

This loaf accomplishes this balance by using a mix of water and milk, which helps keep the bread soft and tender. A pat of butter adds some richness, and a few spoonfuls of sugar give it a touch of sweetness without tipping things into dessert territory.


1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup milk (any kind)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Neutral-tasting oil, such as canola
Cooking spray (optional)

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Stand mixer with paddle attachment, or large bowl
Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
Measuring cups and spoons
Plastic wrap or kitchen towel
2 (8 by 4-inch) loaf pans
Serrated knife
Wire racks

Proof the yeast. Make sure the water is warm to the touch. If you can't comfortably hold your finger in the water for several seconds, wait for it to cool. Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved.


If your kids are small, it's hard to keep them up for midnight festivities. So celebrate midnight in another country, when it's still early in your part of the world. Get in the spirit by playing music and serving food from that country. You could celebrate the New Year in Paris, Greenland or even the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (with an underwater theme).

It's a Greek tradition to serve vasilopita (New Year's Cake) at midnight. This special cake or bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden inside. The head of the household cuts the cake exactly at midnight. Whoever gets the piece with the coin will have good fortune all year.

Mobirise
Mobirise

Start the dough. Place the milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Transfer to the bowl with the yeast, add 1 cup of the flour, and stir until it forms a loose, lumpy batter.
Add the flour. 

Add 4 1/2 cups of the flour, reserving the remaining cup if the dough is sticky during kneading. Stir until a floury, shaggy dough is formed.

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