Country loaf

Country loaf

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(6 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins Plus overnight resting and 2 hrs rising

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Cuts into 10 slices

Fill the house with the aroma of freshly baked bread with this delicious artisan-style loaf

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition

kcalories
265
protein
9g
carbs
56g
fat
2g
saturates
0g
fibre
2g
sugar
2g
salt
1.02g

Ingredients

For the starter

  • 225g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast

For the bread

  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading and dusting
  • 2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 75ml plain yogurt
  • oil, for greasing

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Method

  1. First, make the starter. Tip the flour and yeast into a bowl. Pour over 200ml warm water, use a wooden spoon to mix together, then cover the bowl with a piece of oiled cling film. Leave in the fridge overnight, after which the dough should look fairly frothy and bubbly, with a sweet yeasty smell.
  2. Now make the bread. Tip the flour into a bowl along with the yeast and salt. Pour 150ml warm water and the yogurt into the starter mixture, stir until well combined, then pour this into the bowl with the flour. Use a spoon to bring the mixture together into a ball – this will take a couple of mins as the flour needs to absorb the water. Add another 50ml water if the dough feels tight.
  3. Tip out the dough onto a surface lightly dusted with flour. Push down and away, using the heel of your hand to stretch out the dough, then fold the outside edge back over itself to make a ball again. Twist the dough round a bit and start again. Keep kneading like this for about 10 mins, depending on how vigorous you are. When it’s ready, the dough should feel slightly springy when touched and have a smooth surface when shaped into a ball. Alternatively, you can knead the dough for about 5 mins in a table-top mixer or food processor with a dough attachment.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough inside. Oil a piece of cling film, lay this loosely over the top, then leave in a warm, draught-free place until nearly trebled in size – this can take from 45 mins to about 1½ hrs. Remove the cling film and punch down the airy dough with your hand. Tip out onto your floured surface, knead a couple of times until smooth and the air has been knocked out, then lightly oil a large baking sheet. Shape the dough into a round ball and place on the sheet. Re-cover with the oiled piece of cling film and leave until doubled in size, about 1 hr.
  5. Heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Place a roasting tin on the bottom shelf of the oven and carefully half-fill with boiling water from the kettle. Leave in the oven for 10 mins so it gets steamy. If your dough has spread, gently tuck the ends under to make a neat ball, then use a sharp knife to make a few slashes across the bread before lightly dusting with flour. Place the baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 20 mins. Turn the heat down to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7, bake for 25 mins more, then take out of the oven. Tap the bottom of the loaf – it should sound hollow. Return to the oven for another 10 mins if not. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Great with a bowl of soup, as a chunky sandwich or, best of all, lightly toasted with some butter and jam.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2009

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Comments

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gandt810's picture

Amazing bread recipe! So reliable! I make this exactly as directed, usually starting on a Saturday night, so the kitchen's lovely and warm on a Sunday for the 2 rises. So satisfying doing the bread by hand, and now having made the loaf several times, it really takes very little time and effort. This last time I made it (yesterday), I sieved the flour and the loaf was lighter than ever. I have in the past split the dough into 2 smaller round loaves and also bread rolls. I have frozen it too with great success. I wrap the loaves in baking paper/parchment and a double layer of clingfilm. I let them defrost at room temperature and bring them to life in the oven, so you get a crust!

flowermc's picture

I am going to try this bread, but take it to dough setting in my bread maker, then in my oven hope this way works, will let you know, as really good write ups, thanks to you all,

coutcart's picture

Sorry, I'm used to making two loaves of over 1 kg each in each batch, so the rye flour added would be about 1/2 cup, or a little less and a heaping tablespoon of caraway would be a good place to start.

MT C

coutcart's picture

This sounds like a great loaf. And even though I've been making sourdough products for a little over ten years now, I am still finding recipes I like. This looks like a good one. I like to keep them as simple as possible and this one fits the bill!

As a suggestion most of my friends and the people I make bread for prefer the rye variety. I would guess, as I haven't done it yet, that substituting up to 3/4 cup of bread flour with rye flour (sorry, I'm not familiar enough with metric measures to even guess) and add about 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds that you have broken in a kitchen mortar(coffee or spice grinders work well too, but don't over do and end up with dust. You crack them to release the oil and leave them pretty much whole to provide as surprise when you bit into a seed.) All else should be the same.

MT C

sheilasmith29's picture

Great crusty loaf well worth making.

namarquis's picture

I used my breadmaker as previously mentioned. I made the starter in there too, I mixed it for 5 minutes until dough like and left at room temparature for 2 hours until well risen. I then added the rest of the ingredients. I used a mix of white and brown flour - 350mg white, 150mg brown. My favourite bread recipe, so far.

fkwool's picture
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You MUST make this loaf its delicious and very easy as long as you think ahead - the dough hook on my kenwood mixer made light work of the kneading.

postmaster's picture

leave the water in the oven while the bread is cooking as the steam improves the rising of the bread.Or you could spray the oven with a clean plant sprayer, several times just before and after you've put the bread in the oven to give sufficent humidity for the bread to rise.

annelisarkanen's picture
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Best bread I've made yet. Perhaps it was the yoghurt in the recipe or because of the starter, but definitely my best attempt so far. Will see what its like freezing it...

annelisarkanen's picture
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Just trying this for first time - do you leave the water in the oven whilst the bread is cooking or do you remove it once its steamy before you put the bread in?

marialk's picture

Just wondering if this bread is as good after it has been frozen? I have 20 people coming on Saturday having a help-yourself type lunch and would like to make couple of these in advance, freeze them so that they will still be "fresh" on the day. Any advice gratefully appreciated.

je-suis_unique1's picture
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Gorgeous! An excellent substitute for a sourdough loaf. My kids think it makes the most fantastic toast, and I agree. It is chewy as a loaf with butter, and light and crispy as toast. The crust is a dream. Used my breadmaker, on a pizza dough setting to knead it. It makes the most enormous loaf. Delicious

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