While we’re all stuck at home with little to do, taking up a new hobby like baking has taken off. Not only does this give you something calming to focus your mind on, but you will also have the satisfaction of something tasty to enjoy at the end of the day and an impressive new skill to try out on your friends when lockdown is over.
There’s certainly no shortage of flour at Thomas the Baker and they’re willing to share! Thomas the Baker stores across Yorkshire are currently selling their flour, including the Country Crunch blend used in this recipe, in 1kg bags.
Thomas the Baker’s Country Crunch loaf is a daily staple for many customers, young and old. The recipe released by this Yorkshire-based family bakery uses this popular flour blend and the video shows how to bake it to perfection using simple techniques to create your own bread loaf at home.
The recipe is as follows:
- 35 g fresh yeast OR 7g dried yeast
- 400 ml tepid water
- 225 ml milk
- 1 kg Country Crunch flour
- 15 g salt
- 50 g fat (butter, oil, lard etc.)
- Pour the tepid water and milk into a bowl, then add the yeast.
- Leave the yeast to activate for around 5-10 minutes. You may see bubbles start to appear on the surface of the liquid as it activates.
- Add the flour, salt and fat to the bowl then mix to combine.
- Either knead the dough by hand or using a dough hook on a mixer for 12 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Pop the dough back into an oiled bowl then leave to prove for up to 2 hours in a warm place or until it has doubled in size.
- Knock the dough back by hand then shape into sausages that fit into your loaf tins. This recipe should make two small loaves.
- Leave the dough to prove in the tins for up to 2 hours.
- Bake the bread in a preheated 180c oven for 25-30 minutes, until the loaves have a golden brown colour.
- Remove from loaf tins and leave to cool, then enjoy!
Simon Thomas, general manager at Thomas the Baker, offers his tips from his years of experience baking bread: “The golden rule for good homemade bread is to take your time – a good loaf can’t be rushed, it needs time and attention to allow it to prove well so that it can develop flavour and texture. Kneading the dough is something that can’t be rushed, whether that’s on a mixer or by hand, so spending time here is absolutely essential to the success of your bread.
“And a little secret baker’s tip for an excellent homemade loaf – a spritz of water into the oven as you pop the dough in will help to develop a good crust, so good that the only giveaway that you haven’t bought it in store is the aroma of freshly baked bread in your kitchen!”