place the dry ingredients in a bowl, taking care not to have the salt and yeast touching. add the oil and 240ml/9fl oz of water. gradually add the remaining water (you may not need it all), until all the flour leaves the side of the bowl and you have a soft, rough dough. sit the dough on the oil and begin to knead. once the correct consistency is achieved, place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl.
once risen, place the dough onto a floured surface. to shape into the bloomer, flatten the dough into a rectangle. very gently roll with the heel of your hands. preheat the oven to 220/425f/gas 7 and place a baking tray filled with water on the bottom shelf of the oven – this will create steam when the loaf is baking. place the loaf on the middle shelf and bake for 25 minutes.
it’s easy to make and suitable for everything from dunking in bowls of hearty soup to serving up with cheese and pickles in a homemade ploughman’s. step 1tip the flour into a large bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other. step 3place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size. step 4tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold it inwards repeatedly to knock out the air and ensure that it rises upwards, rather than outwards. step 5tear off one third of the dough and set aside. turn the dough so that the longer edge is running away from you and flatten it slightly. now fold in the two ends to the centre and press them down, so you end up with a chunky, squarish shape.
move the cob around, tucking the dough neatly under itself as it turns. you are gently forcing the sides of the dough down and underneath, to create a smooth, taut top and a rough underside. step 7repeat the rolling and shaping for the smaller piece of dough, then place the smaller ball on top of the larger ball. use a sharp knife to make 8 slashes in the surface of both the top and larger lower part of the loaf. meanwhile, heat the oven to 230°c/210°c fan/450°f/gas 8 and put a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven to heat up. fill the roasting tray with cold water to create steam and put the bread in the oven. bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to 190°c/170°c fan/375°f/gas 5 and bake for a further 20–25 minutes, until crusty, golden brown and the base sounds hollow when tapped.
paul hollywood’s new book is all about bread – how to make it and how to use it. not only does paul teach you exactly how to make a variety of breads, this is a classic british crusty loaf. it’s easy to make and suitable for everything from dunking in bowls of hearty soup to serving up with cheese and 500g/1lb 1oz strong white bread flour, plus a little extra flour for finishing 40g/1½oz soft butter 12g/2 sachets fast action dried yeast 10g/2tsp salt, paul hollywood cake recipes, mary berry bread recipe, best paul hollywood cookbook.
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