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How to make your own bread

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Most people love freshly-baked bread but don't bother to make their own. Yet it can take literally minutes to make the dough. So just follow these simple steps and you could be eating a freshly baked loaf in less than two hours.
What you'll need: 
1lb 8oz (700g) strong white bread flour
1 packet (7g) instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 heaped tbsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
15fl oz (400ml) hand-hot water
Nuts and seeds
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and include a few handfuls of your favourite seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, poppy or sesame, or chopped nuts e.g. walnut.
Pour in the vegetable oil.
Boil the kettle and pour 5fl.oz hot water into a jug. Top up with 10fl.oz cold water and the result will be water at the right temperature.
Pour the water into the bowl and stir the mixture together with a spoon.
Now reach in and start bringing the mixture together with your hands, kneading roughly until it forms a soft, smooth ball. This should only take a few minutes but you can knead for 10 – 20 minutes if you want to as the dough will only improve.
Grease two 1lb loaf tins and divide the dough in two and place each half in a loaf tin.
Wrap a plastic bag loosely round each tin and leave in a warm place for about one hour. The dough should double in size.
Heat the oven to 200oC or Gas Mark 6.
Sprinkle some flour on top of each loaf and bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes. Test that they are done by tapping the bottom of each loaf – they should sound hollow.
Cool the bread on wire racks.
Bread is best eaten cold so make sure you leave the loaves to cool and then enjoy one and freeze the other for another day.
If you want more wholemeal bread, substitute up to 8oz (225g) of strong white flour for strong wholemeal and bake it for 5 - 10 minutes longer. (You can use more wholemeal if you prefer, but you will need to add a second packet of yeast or it won't rise properly, and it may need a little extra water.)


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