Monday, February 25, 2013

Plain and Simple White Bread (Delia Smith)

Why is this bread recipe by Delia Smith so plain and simple?

This recipe contains only five essential ingredients for bread baking. They are flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water! No butter and oil added! It is so simple and yet still good to eat. It has a similar texture to a French bread being crusty on its outside and chewy in its inside. I have toasted slices of these with Gruyère cheese and my family can't have enough of it.

As mentioned by Delia Smith, you can made this bread by hand or even food processor. To ensure that the yeast culture develops well in the bread, Delia has recommended warming the flour before kneading and also the use of hand-hot water. As I was using a bread-maker (with temperature setting), I wasn't too concern about the temperature of my flour and water. I chose not to warm them and use them as they are in normal room temperature.

My plain and simple white bread (recipe from Delia Smith)
I've used the bread dough to shape into a loaf and some rolls.
Watching the dough "growing" can be very therapeutic.
They are so simple and good!

Here's the recipe from Delia Smith.
(with my notes and modification in blue)

1 lb 8 oz (700 g) strong white bread flour, plus a little extra for the top of the bread
1 level tbsp salt, or less, according to taste
1 level tsp easy-blend dried yeast
1 level tsp golden caster sugar (I used normal white caster sugar)
about 15 fl oz (425 ml) hand-hot water (I had to use another extra 50 ml of water)

You will also need two 1 lb (450 g) loaf tins or one 2 lb (900 g) loaf tin, well buttered.

Begin by warming the flour in the oven for about 10 mins, then turn the oven off. (I didn't do this)

Sift the flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a bowl, make a well in the center of the mixture, then add the water. Now mix to a dough, starting off with a wooden spoon and using your hands in the final stages of mixing, adding a spot more water if there are any dry bits. Wipe the bowl clean with the dough and transfer it to a flat work surface (you may not need to flour this). Knead the dough for 3 mins or until it develops a sheen and blisters under the surface (it should also be springy and elastic). You can now either return the dough to the mixing bowl or transfer it to a clean bowl; either way, cover it with clingfilm that has been lightly oiled on the side that is facing the dough. Leave it until it looks as though it has doubled in bulk, which will be about 2 hrs at room temperature.

Note: Instead of kneading by hand, I've placed all my ingredients into my bread-maker and use "dough" setting to knead and prove the dough for 1 1/2 hr.

After that, knock the air out, then knead again for 2 mins. Now divide the dough in half, pat each piece out to an oblong, then fold one end into the center and the other in on top. Put each one into a buttered tin, sprinkle each with a dusting of flour, then place them side by side in an oiled polythene bag until the dough rises above the tops of the tins – this time about an hour at room temperature. Alternatively, place all the dough in the one tin. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 8, 450°F (230°C).

Note: I had shaped half of my dough into a loaf. I had further divided the other half into 5 portions. To shape each roll, I had flatten each dough into rough rectangle shapes and roll them with up their shorter end and place their seam side downward. Then, I cut a slit on the top side each roll.

Bake the loaves on the center shelf for 30-40 mins, or 35-45 mins for the large loaf, until they sound hollow when their bases are tapped. Now return them, out of their tins, upside-down to the oven to crisp the base and side crust for about 5 mins, then cool on a wire rack.

Note: My rolls were baked for 15 min at 210°C fan forced. My loaf was baked for 15 min at 210°C fan forced and another 15 min at 190°C fan forced.

Please refer to here if you are interested to know more about using food processor to make this bread.

Happy Baking
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  1. Hi Zoe,
    If you did not mention is not Cook Like a Star event yet, I really thought the event have start. :p
    Oh! This bread looks so inviting!
    I love it! Can I have a pece of your bread roll?


  2. Hi Zoe your bread looks great! I would love to have it for breakfast every day ;) Can't wait to cook like Delia Smith in March.

  3. You are quite the trendsetter yourself!

  4. Hi Zoe, nice bread. The texture look very good and fluffy. Happy hosting.

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.

  5. I love your bread, looks delicious.
    i would like to have it with one cup of coffee for tea time.

  6. Hi Zoe!

    This bread looks great. It looks like it came from the bakery. Great job. Can I have a slice? It looks so good.


  7. Hi Zoe, the bread looks wonderful! I'm off to hunt for some Delia Smith recipes! ;)

  8. I have to admit that I have never made my own bread - shame on me. The texture of this loaf looks perfect.

  9. I always check out this website for healthy and tasy recipe's - - My favourite is the sugar free chocolate pudding because it just tastes amazing

  10. Hi Zoe, my heart almost dropped when I saw your post because I thought I was late and I am supposed to be hosting! Phew... Love your beautiful loaf. I tried her wholemeal bread and it wasn't very good, glad to know that this white loaf works well.

  11. Hello, Zoe! Wow, you had baked so much of bread! Yum, I want them to make sandwich! I'll skip the Delia Smith theme but guess what, I've 4 tomato dishes ready for the next Little Thumbs Up now, wink wink~!

  12. Hi Zoe, May I have your bread for tomorrow breakfast???

  13. Great bread! I never make my own but I am sure it tastes much better than anything bought in the store, good job!

  14. Gosh! Panic for a minute there ! I thought that I"m late again for Cook Like A Star event! LOL These breads look perfect for breakfast or snacks (sandwiches). My teenager sons love to eat sandwiches for snacks & since I've owned a bread machine now, I've been making some organic bread . BTW I've 2 Deila Smith recipes ready but I don't think I'll be the first to post! You know how absent minded I am , right! :D LOL

  15. Hi Dear, bread looks perfect. Luvd it.

  16. Zoe , I love how you slashed the top of those rolls :D I've made some French bread and I wish I had that pretty slash on top of my bread lol

  17. Hi Zoe,
    I almost made this bread last week! The bread looks gorgeous! I love eating plain breads like this with just a spread of salted butter with a cup of hot steaming kopi-O!!

  18. Wow your bread looks delicious! x

  19. zoe, you got me panic here. I havent picked a recipe yet!!