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    White Vienna loaf

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    White Vienna loaf

    Much of what we call white and French bread goes back to a Viennese baking style of the 1800s, which used white flour.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 4 hours resting
    • Cooking time: 35 minutes to 40 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes, plus 4 hours resting 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes

    Makes: 1 small (450g) loaf


    • 1 tsp easy-blend yeast
    • 100ml warm water
    • 300g strong white flour
    • 100ml barely cold water
    • 1 level tsp fine sea salt
    • Oil for kneading


    1. Stir the yeast and water together in a warmed bowl. Tip in 100g of the flour and stir until you have a sticky batter. Cover with a plate and leave for at least 2 hours or overnight. Pour the cold water into the yeast batter and mix it to roughly combine.
    2. Measure the remaining flour and salt into a large warm bowl and tip in the yeast batter. Stir so you have a soft and sticky dough, cover and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the moisture.
    3. Rub 1 tsp of oil on the work surface and form it into a circle roughly twice the area of your hand. Pour 1 tsp of oil on the top of the dough and rub it over and down the sides so you can scoop out the dough without it sticking. Put the dough on the oiled surface and knead for 15 seconds. Place back in the bowl, cover and leave for 45 minutes, kneading it briefly twice more in that time.
    4. Lightly flour the work surface and place the dough seam-side up on it. Pat it out into an oval about 20cm. Roll it up very tightly and then roll into a long sausage shape, pressing the ends into points. Place the dough seam-side down on a baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for another 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
    5. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7 and place a small ovenproof dish of water at the bottom to create a steamy environment.
    6. Dust the top of the bread with flour, and with a serrated knife slash along one side. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 200°C, gas mark 6, and bake for 15-20 minutes till golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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