I do bake bread quite often (hence my nice nature lol). However, I have not baked a white loaf in a long, long time and I am talking here about a good couple of decades. Perhaps the idea of making or baking something healthier appeals to me greatly I have chosen to use healthier flours, various seeds, flakes and so on.
This time I have chosen to make pure white loaf which tastes absolutely unbelievable. This is not to say the others are not nice but once in a while this is so worth baking.
Well, my husband now blames me for putting a bit of a belly on, but my argument is that when he was having bread three times a day, it wasn’t me that was eating it, it was him!!
Black pepper and olive oil homemade bread
Baking own bread is simple and there is no better aromas in your house than bread baking, I am sure you would agree.
- 1000 g strong white flour
- 650 ml water luke warm
- 3 tsp seasalt or pink Himalayan
- 30 g fresh yeast *
- 60 ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp cane sugar
- 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
Sift the flour into a larger bowl, add the salt the pepper and make a well in the middle.
Into a mug put the sugar, the yeast, and cover with 150-180ml lukewarm water (part of the 650ml water needed). Mix well until the sugar and yeast have dissolved. Pour this into the well and allow it set aside for a few minutes until the yeast water begins to bubble up.
Add more of the lukewarm water and start mixing by hand or a strong wooden spoon until it forms a soft dough. I always use my hand and I keep it in the bowl. It is easier with the water and oil gradual addition.
Knead the dough by hand either in the bowl or on a super clean and lightly floured surface for about 10-12 minutes adding the oil little by little until the dough becomes smooth and pretty elastic. The best indicator that dough has had enough kneading is when the hand(s) come clean and dough no longer sticks to the hand.
When finished place in a clean bowl shaped into a large sphere and cover. I keep into the same bowl I have worked in as this becomes super clean till the end. Cover with a clean kitcken towel and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 40-45 mins until it doubles in size. If it’s not warm enough it will take longer to rise.
When risen to double its size, split the dough into two exact amounts. Shape the dough into desired shape and place into the two oiled tins. I normally do a plat. Allow again to rise in a warm place, covered for 15 mins. Preheat the oven at this stage at 180C.
Bake the loafs at 210C/fan assisted or 230C for 15 min and then at 180*C for another 20-25 mins until golden brown - do the skewer test and if it comes out clean, it’s done!
Take out of the oven and then 3-4 min later take out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.
Allow to cool completely before cutting it. I normally leave it out covered with a kitchen towel for a good 4-5h or even overnight before cutting and freezing.
Having said this, no one can stop you having some warm bread with some salted butter or your favourite topping but you will have to tear it while still warm. Hard to resist it, I know!
* Servings really depends, but it makes approximately two 2lb loafs of bread or 3 smaller. It can be baked in loaf tins (I used 2x 2lb glass 28cm cake moulds) but cast iron skillets, cake tins or simply freely on a tray could also make some beautiful little buns.
I will leave this to your imagination entirely.
The baking time will be determined by bread shape and size but do not worry always apply the skewer test and you’ll be absolutely and perfectly fine.
Practice is definitely the mother of learning like I always say so the more you will bake the more of a baker expert you will become. It’s as simple as that.
* If you don’t happen to have fresh yeast then you can also replace this by two sachets (14 g) of fast action yeast. Fresh yeast is perishable so if not used within 2-3 days it’s best to freeze it.
I usually buy it (it comes in a pack of 4 x 30g cubes) and I freeze whatever I don’t need for next time. It never last for too long in my freezer, but I assume it could go for a good 2-3 months.
Whenever I use frozen yeast, I take it out of freezer and if I have time I allow it to thaw in the fridge for a good few hours. I sometimes make a sudden decision to bake some bread in which case I just put it straight from freezer into the lukewarm water and the sugar as described in the method step 2.