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Plain Flour Bread

If lockdown has taught me anything, its that there is always a way to adapt. And that covered how we dealt with food too.

Round here it was hard to get things like rolls and bread, and when you could get an online shop, things like yeast and bread flour were almost impossible. So an adaptation I found was making bread with a cupboard staple - plain flour. I was lucky that I always have the basics stocked in my cupboard for baking so I had a few sachets of yeast.

What you need
500 g plain flour, plus extras for dusting
1 sachet dried yeast (7g)
290ml warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
Olive oil for greasing

In a bowl, pour the water and add the sugar and the yeast. Leave for about 10-15 minutes till it starts to go foamy.

In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Create a well in the middle and gradually pour in the yeast mix. Bring the sides into the middle so it starts to form a dough. I started this with a wooden spoon and then moved onto my hands, but you can use your hands straight away if you like. If the dough looks too dry, you can add a little bit of water. You need to make sure its combined well though.

Dust a little flour onto a work surface and knead the dough until its smooth and stretchy. This will take a while as the plain flour needs more work to activate the gluten. Its great to get out any home schooling frustrations.

Once nice and stretchy, shape the dough into your desired style. I opted for a bread tin as I like the traditional loaf shape but you can make it circular or oval or even a square if you like. Whatever shape you go for, place it on a dusted baking tray/loaf tin and cover with oiled cling film.

Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour. You will know its ready when the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan and remove the cling film from the bread. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the bread has risen. We made ours salt and pepper bread so I seasoned the top of our loaf but its just personal preference.

Transfer to a cooling rack and carefully tap the base to check its cooked (I used a clean tea towel to lift the bread as it was so hot). You are listening for a hollow sound. If you don't hear it, pop it back in the oven for a few minutes at a time till its ready.

We eat ours fresh and warm from the oven with butter and dunked into homemade tomato soup

Its awesome!