The loaf pan has been mighty and victorious in the North London Kitchen recently.
I have finally realised that the key to the perfect loaf is the perfect pan and having made this discovery I don't think I'll ever look back. At the end of last week I made another attempt at a plain white sandwich loaf. Previous attempts had been rather disappointing, yielding either long flat loaves, or even the dreaded mutant bloomer. I was thus understandably wary or trying yet again. However, having had success with the spelt loaf in the newly discovered pan (okay, it should be re-discovered as it has been in the cupboard unused for eight months), I figured one more try wouldn't hurt.
I measured, proved, rested and baked and three hours later this is what I had:
A delicious, tall almost fluffy loaf with just enough crunch to the crust. Whoo!
I'd like to think it was my skill and precision as a baker, but we all know that my skills are still somewhat limited and I have never managed to be a precise baker. So the credit must go to the pan.
500g strong white flour
Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine, then add the water and work into a dough. Once the dough has come together well enough to no longer stick to your hands form into a ball and leave in the bowl covered with a tea towel to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled, knock it back and place it in a loaf pan gently spreading it to fill the pan, cover again and leave for an hour or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200C.
When the dough has doubled in size again place in a middle shelf in the preheated oven and bake for 35mins.
Remove from the oven and when slightly cooled turn out from the pan and leave to fully cool on cooling rack.