A few weeks ago now I visited the very nice Saker bakery and bought a large granary loaf. It was hand made and cost £2.70. I don't begrudge paying that for artisan bread, but I didn't feel like this was, and so I get to thinking that I was capable of making my own at a fraction of the cost and just possibly, a little tastier; and so I began...
Since then, I am proud to say I have kept us self sufficient in bread - baking granary, wholemeal, rye and white with a variety of seeds. My recipe (found a long time ago on the BBC Good Food website) is foolproof, and since beginning to use the dough hooks on my hand mixer I have developed RSI in my right hand but cut the time required for kneading a great deal.
500g strong bread flour (any combination of white/brown/etc.)
7g pack of dry yeast
3 good pinches salt
1 tablespoon oil (olive/sunflower/rapeseed etc..or a mixture)
350ml warm water
In a bowl add your flour, salt and yeast and briefly stir to combine.
Add your oil, then your water, then use the tablespoon to bring it together roughly.
Mix with your dough hooks til it makes a soft clump.
Pull out and make into a ball (if too sticky roll in a little flour)
Put ball into a bowl/on a plate/tray and cover with tea towel in a warm place
Leave it at least an hour or until it doubles in size.
Get it out and knock it back.
Make into the shape you want - round, elipse, oval, etc... and place on a floured baking tray.
Let it prove for an hour.
Place in a 180 oven for 30 mins.
Take it out, turn it over, pop it back in for 5 minutes.
Take it out and place on.wire rack to cool.
Slice, spread with butter, devour.