Dominic Chapman's white bread recipe is perfect for beginners. Once you have mastered this recipe, feel free to experiment with other flavours - Dominic recommends adding rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes or olives to the base dough if you're feeling adventurous.
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To make the dough, rub the fresh yeast into the flour with your fingertips until it breaks up into small pieces and is evenly dispersed into the flour. If using dried yeast, combine with the water and add to the flour in the next step
500g of strong bread flour
10g of fresh yeast, or 4g of dried yeast
Add the salt to the flour, followed by the water. Hold the bowl with one hand and mix the ingredients around with the other for 2-3 minutes until the dough starts to form. If using an electric mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on a low speed until a dough forms
10g of salt
350g of water
Scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface, but do not add any additional flour. Begin to work and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it tightens and comes together. The dough is ready when it comes away from the table cleanly and looks silky and smooth
Dust the work surface with a little flour and start to shape the dough into a ball by stretching the outsides into the middle and pressing them firmly into the dough with your thumbs
Lightly dust a bowl with flour and transfer the dough into the bowl. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This will take at least 1 hour
Knock back the dough by kneading it for another 5 minutes, then cut into 2 even portions. Line your scales with cling film and dust with a little flour during this process
Grease and lightly flour your loaf tins and place the portions of dough into each one - each portion should ideally fill the tins up to halfway. Alternatively, shape into small rounds and place on a baking tray. Cover again and leave to prove in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size
Preheat the oven to 250˚C/gas mark 9
Brush lightly with water and place in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown. A good method to test if the bread is ready is to tap each loaf on the base and listen for a hollow sound. Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes if the bread is not ready. Turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool before serving
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