Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A Good Old White Loaf

When I received some of Tesco's Finest Very Strong White Bread Flour to bake with I was curious to see whether their finest flour really was better.
I regularly use Tesco's strong white bread flour but have not tried the finest one before.
To really see if I could tell a difference I decided to bake a plain white loaf but so that it tied in with the Great Bloggers Bake Off Masterclasses I shaped it as Paul Hollywood demonstrated on the show.
Good Old White Loaf
500g Tesco Finest strong white flour
10g fast acting yeast
8g salt
30g softened butter
300 - 320mls warm water
1 - Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and place the flour on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other. Add the softened butter and gradually add the water until you have a rough dough.
2 - Place the dough on the work top and start to knead.
I found that with Tesco's Finest flour the gluten built up in the dough a lot quicker and was a lovely dough to work with and had a very elasticated smooth finish to it.
3 - Once your dough has a smooth elasticated finish to it, place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for at least an hour or until it has doubled in size.
4 - Remove the dough from the bowl and knock the air out.
5 - To get the Cottage Loaf shape I followed Paul Hollywood's directions from Great British Bake Off. I split my dough into two pieces, one bigger than the other. I then shaped the two pieces into balls. Starting with the large one I made it into a round and placed my thumb through the middle until I could feel the work top. I then shaped the smaller one and placed it on the top of the large one. I, again, stuck my thumb through the middle then scored all the way round with a sharp knife.
6 - Place on a baking tray, leave to prove and heat the oven to 200C.
7 - Once the second proving is complete bake for 20 minutes.
This created a beautifully light bread with a beautifully crunchy crust. I certainly could tell the difference between the flours and really do believe that it is worth paying a little bit more for the better quality flour. I know that I will be changing my shopping list from now on!
We all enjoyed a few slices with some butter and homemade jam!
8 - I also made a bloomer loaf which was shaped in an oblong shape and scored along the top before a final dusting of a wholemeal and seed flour. This flour created such a lovely bread I kept them both plain but I am sure that they will also make some great enriched breads that I will definitely be trying!
I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch yesterday instead of a quick snack whilst sorting the kids as I normally do. This loaf gave me the perfect opportunity!
I grilled a slice of freshly made bread and topped it with parsley and cheese scrambled egg, a rasher of smoked bacon finished with a scattering of butter fried mushrooms.
This was delicious and I will certainly be treating the hubby to a lovely lunch at the weekend.
Enjoy x
Tesco sent me a bag of their Finest Very Strong White Bread Flour to bake with. Thank you!
The opinions in the post are completely my own and have not been influenced in any way.
The Great Bloggers Bake Off is hosted by the lovely Helen and Jenny at:


  1. wow Kirsty you are still on your baking roll (lol) and your loaves looks lovely - thier shapes held togther very well and the rise on them is fab
    and apart from the egg, i would eat your bacon and mushrooms on toasted bread please this weekend x x

  2. those loaves both look amazing! I particularly like the cottage loaf, looks so professional! I love making bread at the moment....especially when it works well!


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