Paul Hollywood’s Bloomer Bread Recipe
Sometimes you just have a hard week and you feel stressed and you’re ready to runaway! I turn to baking to feel better, it lets me escape into my thoughts whilst doing something rewarding. I start to get creative with cakes/recipes and more recently I start to make breads. Its easy to just forget everything else whilst you mix or knead! I can spend hours (even days!) on a cake- and bread is a different skill which is also so rewarding! Paul Hollywoods book called ‘Bread’ is my favourite fool proof book when it comes to baking breads!
This book is awesome- the recipes are easy, but Paul Hollywood has included so many pictures to guide you through the dough making process so that you always know if your dough looks how it should! Which takes out any stress or fears you might have in baking and allows you to relax and enjoy the process.
The bloomer bread is a great bread to start with as a novice bread maker- simple ingredients and the end result is so rewarding.
500gm strong white bread flour
40ml olive oil
7g dried yeast
Add the dry ingredients ensuring the salt and yeast are on different sides of the bowl (they don’t get along too well).
Add the oil and 240ml of water and bring together- add more water as necessary until you get a sticky dough.. You might not need all the water but you want a sticky dough!
Add a touch of olive oil to your work surface and start kneading. I use my knuckles and base of my palm to give vigour. As you knead the dough becomes less sticky and the dough becomes more stretchy and glutinous. Keep going for around 5-10mins until there is good elasticity.
Put your dough in a large bowl that you have lightly oiled. Cover with cling film and leave to rise. Don’t put it in a warm place- just keep it somewhere out of curious fingers and hands! You don’t want to rush the ‘rise’ process- bread always tastes better with a slow rise!
At some point between 1.5hrs-3hrs the bread will have tripled in its size- and thats when you take it out of the bowl and put it back on the work surface. Use your knuckles and palms to knock out the air and you will have a spongy smooth dough consistency.
Shape the dough into an oval shape- a tip to use is so keep folding the dough into the same side so that one side of your dough is smooth and crease free- and the other (underside) has a single crease.
Now put the dough in a large oven tray (so it has lots of room to grow). Cover the tray with a clean large plastic bag that wont constrict the growth- and leave for another hour.
About 45mins into the proving process heat your oven to 220degrees Celsius and once your dough is ready, gently remove the plastic bag and splash with some water light on the top and dust a little flour on top. Make 4 slits at a 45degree agle on the top of your dough so that there is space to expand.
Put a tray of cold water at the bottom of your oven so that it will create steam whilst the bread bakes. Bake the bread in the oven in the middle shelf for about 25mins and then reduce heat to 200 and keep baking for another 15.
You should be able to knock on the dough and there should be a ‘hollow’ sound- that’s when you know it is ready!
Let you bread cool before you cut into it! However tempting it is- cutting into hot bread will make the crumb sticky and feel under baked.
I enjoyed this bread with some garlic chilli oil that I made a few hours earlier.