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    The Moon's Basic Bread

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    The Moon's Basic Bread

    We like to make wholemeal bread, but you can follow the same method and use all white flour. The airing cupboard is the classic 'warm place' to leave the bread to rise but we leave ours by the Aga or in the fireplace; a sunny work surface is also fine.

    Makes: 2 large loaves


    • 1 litre tepid water
    • 2 x 7g sachets McDougall Fast Acting Bread Yeast
    • About 1.5kg flour - 1kg Waitrose Stoneground Organic Plain Wholemeal Flour, plus 500g Waitrose Very Strong Canadian Bread Flour
    • 1tbsp fine sea salt
    • 2tbsp olive oil


    1. Pour the water into a large bowl and add the yeast. Stir in about half the wholemeal flour and blend to a thick cream. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp tea towel or clingfilm and leave in a warm, draught-free place for about 20 minutes, until the surface is littered with bubbles.
    2. Stir in the salt and oil, then most of the remaining flour, mixing well. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together, adding more flour or water to give a soft, but not sticky, dough.
    3. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Stretch the dough away from you with the heel of your hand, then gather it up towards you, punching it back into a ball with your fist. It is ready when you can tease out an 'ear' and it will stretch without breaking.
    4. Lightly oil two large loaf tins, about 18x11x8cm. Divide the dough into two and shape to fit the tins, pressing the dough out flat, then rolling it up to fit the tins. Cover, then leave in a warm place for at least 1 hour, until the dough has risen well above the tins.
    5. Uncover the loaves and scatter with a little flour. Place on a shelf towards the bottom of a COLD oven - leave plenty of room for the loaves to rise. Set the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7 and cook for 45 minutes.
    6. Loosen the loaves in the tins, then turn them out - tap the bottom of each loaf with your knuckles; when cooked they will sound hollow. If they don't, return to the oven out of their tins for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and leave for 15 minutes.

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