Basic loaf : James Morton (13.02)

“Basic loaf” from ‘Brilliant Bread’ by James Morton

doubled ingredients.


  • 1000 g strong white flour
  • 20 g salt (2 tsp)
  • 40 g fresh yeast (recipe calls for 2 x 7 g instant yeast)
  • 700 g tepid water

1. Flour in a large bowl with yeast on one side and salt on the other.

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Add the tepid water

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and mix until it forms a coherent dough.

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The recipe does not mention any kneading at this stage, did some here.

Leave to rest for 30-40 minutes.

2. With wet fingers fold the dough in the bowl until deflated and smooth.

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Leave to rise for another hour or doubled in size.

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3. Turn out on a flour surface.

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Form into a ball. Had to make two.

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And put on a floured surface.

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Leave to rise for another hour or until doubled.

4. Preheat oven at 210 C. Score bread and bake for at least 40 minutes.

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Basic bread : Mrs Beetons (Sun 21.02)

“Basic white bread” from “The concise Mrs Beeton’s book of Cookery”.


  • 800 g white bread flour
  • 10 ml salt
  • 25 g lard
  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 2,5 ml sugar
  • 500 ml water

1. Sift the flour and salt  in a large bowl. Rub in the lard.

Mix the yeast with a little water and the sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Did this in the same bowl with the flour.

Add the remaining water and mix to a soft dough. Turn out the dough on a floured surface.

Knead to a smooth ball.

Leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours, until doubled in size.

2. Turn out the dough, knead, divide into 2 parts and form two loaves.

Leave to rise for 45 minutes. Left them about one hour.

3. Glaze with milk or egg. Forgot this one. Bake for 35 minutes at 230 C. Somewhat less 33 minutes at 200 C.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Basic loaf: Nigella Lawson (Thu 11.02)

“The essential white loaf” from “How to be a domestic goddess” by Nigella Lawson.


  • 500 g white bread flour
  • 15 g fesh yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt (far too much according to me 9 g or about 1 teaspoon used)
  • 300 ml warm tap water or potato water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

The recipe encourages the use of old potato water as liquid. Alternative is water with 1 tabespoon of instant mash. Used the last option.


1. Put flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Use to mix the salt with the flour first, do not add fesh yeast directly on the salt. Pour in 200 ml water and start mixing. “be prepared to add more water”. The amount of water needed depends highly on the type of flour, this makes exact measures indeed useless to a certain point. But 200 ml water on 500 flour seems certainly too low. 300 ml is a good starting value.

Mix to a “shaggy mess” and add the butter.


Start kneading for at least 10 minutes. At max I did 3-5. Dough becomes smooth and silky.


Return to a clean bowl, and leave to rise for 2 hours. Interesting alternative with an overnight rise. Took the 2 hours option, but the dough doubled within 55 minutes.

2. Knock down the dough

Form into a loaf and put on a baking sheet.

Leave to rise for half an hour to an hour. Seemed OK to me after 50 minutes.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 220 C for 35 minutes. Check if done by tapping underneath. I don’t understand the recipes starting to pre-heat the oven before the final forming of the loaf. Mine only takes about 15 minutes and not 60.

Nice recipe, good bread, works well. Too much salt to be healthy imo.

Basic loaf: Laurel Robertson (Thu 28.01)

Try-out of “A Loaf for Learning” from “The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book” by Laurel Robertson. The book has as second title “A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking”. Most of the recipes use whole grain flour, but also other types of grains and breads are covered. A lot of attention to sourdough baking, but never in a ‘fanatic’ way. No full color pictures in this book, but plenty of sound advice.

The recipe takes from page 33 to 67, including a: rockbottom essentials section, evaluation guideline and a questions part. Advise to read all before starting. Every step is explained in a clear and detailed way. Whole grain as a first loaf is challenging, but this turns out to be an excellent bread.

Ingredients (the metric ones, and doubled).

  • 180 ml water
  • 30 g fresh yeast (recipe used 7g active dry yeast)
  • 900 g whole grain wheat flour (finely ground)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10 g)
  • 160 ml yogurt
  • 320 g hot tap water
  • 60 ml oil (used somewhat less +- 50 g olive oil)
  • 50 ml honey

1. Mix the yeast with the first 180 ml water in a a small bowl. Probably mainly relevant if using dry yeast. Have always the impression that part of the yeast will remain in those little bowls.


Put the flour in a bowl and mix with he salt.

Mix yogurt, water and oil together (another bowl ūüėČ ).

Put the wet ingredients (do not forget the yeast ) and the flour together and start mixing with your hands. Dough will be very sticky.

In the next phase the recipe indicates to check the dough consistency and to add flour if necessary. This dough was more of a batter than a dough. Maybe a measure mistake, so added some additional flour.

If all well mixed turn out on work surface.Knead for 20 minutes. At least that’s what the book says. 10 minutes or 300 strokes normal recipe, to be doubled if using 900 g of lour. Did 300 strokes, dough was coming allready nicely together.

Had to leave the dough for 10 minutes.

After this 30 seconds kneading were enough to get a very smooth dough. This is the technique used by Dan Lepard (use it often). 2 to three short kneadings at 10 minutes interval.


Leave to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a cool place. This dough doubled easily in size after just under 1 hour.


The original recipe contains a second rising of 1 hour before making the loafs. As it was allready getting late I had to skip this one an formed the loaves after the first rise.

2. Form into 2 loaves and leave to rise for 1 hour. Book suggests using tins for a first loaf.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 220 C for about 35 to 40 minutes.

leave to cool on a wire rack.


Recipe contains lots of advice on all steps, some I often use:

– leave to rise in a (cold) oven,

– test if dough is well risen by pressing with a fingertip (formed loaves) or by poking a moist finger in the dough


Basic loaf: L Collister variety (Wed 20.01)

‘Basic Loaf’ recipe from L. Collister in “The Bread Book”.


  • 350 g white bread flour
  • 350 g wholemeal flour
  • 15 g salt (I used only 9 g or one teaspoon)
  • 15 g yeast
  • 430 ml water

The recipe is nicely detailed in 22 pictures,

1. Mix flours and salt in a bowl. No picture above this instruction, searched for some minutes where the salt was added.

Cream the yeast in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons of the water.

Make a well in the flour, pour in the yeast mixture. Usually I would leave out the small bowl part. Less washing up.

Pour in the remaining water. Mix the liquid and draw in more flour until you have athick batter. Cover the batter with a thin layer of flour.

Leave the batter to rise/sponge for about 20 minutes.

2. The sponge should be frothy or broken through the flour layer. Mix the remaining flour into the batter. If all is well mixed turn out on work surface.

Recipe advises to have some flour ready to add to the dough if too sticky or not firm at all. I added some flour but kept a rather soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes and form into a ball. Did not complete the entire 10 minutes.

Leave to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

3. test if the dough is well risen by inserting a finger. If the dough does not spring back : OK. Good test also for the 2nd rise. This dough was already OK after 1 hour.

Turn out on work surface and form into an oval loaf. Put on a greased tin. Forming the loaf is nicely illustrated. As his dough was very soft hesitated to make a free form loaf.

Leave to rise, no exact timing given ‘until doubled in size’.

This took about  30 minutes. The recipe slashes the dough at the start of the 2nd rise. I only did when going into the oven.

4. Bake in pre-heated oven at 220 C for 15 minutes and 20 minutes at 190 C. As the 2nd rise went a lot faster than expected, started the baking in a cold oven. Always better to do this, if you wait for the oven to heat dough could over-rise and collapse.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

In the possible problem list of the recipe:

Loaf spread during baking : dough was too soft or warm when it was shaped. 100% correct.

Very good bread, well explained (also the kneading, forming part). 5 pages lots of illustrations and advice.

Basic bread: J Oliver variety (Wed 13.01).

‘basic bread’ recipe from J. Oliver in “The Naked Chef”. Similar recipe found here on his website.


The book.                                             For real.

- 625 g lukewarm water           - 625 g lukewarm water
- 30 g honey or sugar            - 30 g honey
- 30 g yeast                     - 40 g yeast (didn't want to throw 10g away)
- 500 g white bread flour        - 500 g white bread flour
- 500 g semolina  flour          - 500 g organic italian tipo 00 flour
- 30 g salt                      - 2 teaspoons salt (18 g)

The amount of salt is very high imo.

1. Mix half of the water with the honey and the yeast. Did this in the large bowl, not very practical. I would dissolve both in max. 100 g water.

Pour the flour and salt on a working surface.

Make a well in the middle, add the yeast mixture,

and start mixing the flour.

Add the additional water and continue mixing till all the flour is used. Do this in a large bowl seems easier to me for a first time baker.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes.

Leave to rise for until doubled in size 40 to 90 minutes.

This one doubled in size in less than 60 minutes.

3. Knead the dough for 1 minute (forgot this one). Form into 2 loaves

and leave to rise for antoher hour until doubled in size. Again less than 1 hour.

4. loaves should have doubled in size.

The oven and baking time are not given in the basic recipe. Bake in a pre heated oven at 225 C for 20 to 25 minutes. Done after 32 minutes, maybe difference in oven.