Due to pregnancy and the ensuing stretchy ligaments that make dough kneading a pain, Eve e-bayed herself a decent second-hand Kenwood K-Mix (I also think she just fancied one too!) but couldn’t for the life of her find any exact instructions on how to make a bread dough in it.
After multiple experiments, much cursing and several slightly flattened loaves, we came up with a method that works for us. The ingredients are based upon Paul Hollywood’s Basic Bread recipe, but the method is all ours!
(We both recommend the Paul Hollywood bread books as the recipes and methods just work…)
- 500g strong white bread flour
- A knob of softened butter
- 1 sachet dried, fast action, yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- about 250 -300ml coolish, not cold, water
- a little olive oil
- Put the flour into the mixer’s bowl with the softened butter. Put the yeast at one side of the bowl and put the salt at the other, just in case the concentration of salt should kill the yeast. Set the mixer to the “min” setting and leave to combine the ingredients for a thirty seconds or so
- Slowly add the water, a little at a time, as the mixer runs on the “min” setting. The dough will start to come together slowly. Keep adding water a little at a time until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough looks too dry add a little water a teaspoon at a time; if it looks too wet shake a little flour in
- Once the mixture comes away cleanly from the bowl, you can go up to a notch in speed, the dough will now audibly “slap” against the sides of the bowl, you should also see it visibly stretching. I like to vary the speed between “min” and setting 1 – which seems to help get things moving along nicely. Occasionally stop the mixer and pull the dough from the hook, this helps to ensure a good knead and you also get to test how elastic the dough is becoming
- Once you can pinch a small piece of dough between thumb and forefinger and pull it for more than an inch or two without it ripping, you’re pretty much in business. Tip the dough out of the bowl, oil the bowl by rubbing about a penny-sized dollop of olive oil around the interior before putting the dough back in
- Find somewhere at room temperature to prove the dough, and cover the mixer bowl with cling film
- After the dough has doubled in size (anywhere from an hour to three hours) tip out onto a lightly oiled work surface and with the lightest of touches fold the dough lengthways three, four or five times – until you end up with a loaf tin-sized cylinder of dough. This is a gentle way of “knocking the dough back” so that it can prove for a second time
- Oil a loaf tin (including the outside shoulders of the tin) and gently place your folded dough into it, then get a large plastic bag and form a balloon that the loaf tin can fit into – ensuring that the rising loaf cannot possibly touch the plastic bag
- Leave for another hour or two until the loaf proves again and rises above the level of the tin
- Make sure that your oven is pre-heated to about 200c, with an old baking tin in the bottom. Now gently place the loaf into the oven and pour a small glass of tap water into the old tin at the bottom of the oven – the steam helps the crust to get crusty!
- After 25 minutes take the loaf out of the oven, turn it out of the tin and tap the bottom – if it sounds hollow it’s done and should be cooled on a wire rack. If not, put it back in the tin and into the oven for another five minutes…repeat as neccessary
- After about half-an-hour of cooling the new loaf can be sliced and enjoyed with a spread of butter!
UPDATE: If you liked that, you may also like this:
No mixer, or can’t knead bread? Try the “No need to knead” bread recipe!