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Paul Hollywood's White bloomer bread
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Makes: 1 loaf
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
320ml cool water
1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the oil and 240ml of the water. Use the fingers of one hand to mix the ingredients together. Add the remaining water a little at a time until you have a soft, sticky dough and all the flour is incorporated. You may not need all the water.
2. Oil a clean work surface. Tip the dough onto the oil and knead the dough. Continue kneading for 10 minutes. The dough will become less sticky and feel smooth and silky when ready. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover until the dough has doubled in size. This will take between 1 - 3 hours.
3. Once the dough has risen, tip onto a lightly floured surface. Knock back the dough by pushing out the air with your knuckles and heels of your hand. Do this until the dough is smooth. Flatten the dough into a rectangle, with the long side facing you. Fold the long side furthest away from you into the middle of the rectangle. Fold the long side nearest to you into the middle, on top of the other fold. Turn the loaf over so the seam is on the base. Tuck the ends of the loaf under to make a rough oval shape. Gently roll the loaf back and forth to form a bloomer shape.
4. Place the bloomer on a baking tray. Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag, making sure there is enough space between the dough and the bag so it won’t touch the plastic as it rises. Leave the loaf to prove until it doubles in size. This should take about one hour.
5. Heat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6 and place a roasting tray on the bottom shelf to heat up. Once the loaf is risen, spray with water. Dust with a handful of flour and rub all over the loaf. Score 4 diagonal slashes across the top of the loaf, 2-3cm deep.
6. Just before baking pour 1 litre of water into the baking tray. This will create steam while the loaf is cooking and give the bread a crispy crust. Place the loaf on the middle shelf and bake for 25minutes. Lower the temperature to 180c, gas mark 4 and bake for a further 15minutes. The crust should be dark and crisp and the base should sound hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
© Copyright Paul Hollywood
This recipe was first published in March 2014.
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