There’s nothing more homely than the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven and it tastes far better than anything shop bought. This bread is a fantastic accompaniment to soup, but also tastes great on it’s own with a nice slathering of butter (my favourite vegan alternative is vitalite). Although the bread takes a while to rise, you don’t need to keep an eye on it, meaning that you can get on with other things whilst waiting.
- 250g plain flour
- 250g granary flour
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp agave nectar or honey if you’re not vegan
- 300ml lukewarm water
- Sift the flours into a large bowl, add the yeast and salt and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl or measuring jug, add the water, oil and agave nectar and mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until a soft dough forms.
- Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for around 5 minutes or so until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Add dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp tea-towel and leave to rise in a warm place for around an hour.
- After an hour, tip the dough back onto the work surface and knead for a few more minutes.
- Oil a loaf tin and press the dough into the tin evenly, cover again and leave to rise for another hour or so, until the dough has filled the tin.
- Heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ 400°F/ Gas 6 and bake the loaf for 30–35 minutes. Remove from the oven and tip the bread out of the tin onto a cooling rack. When cooked, the loaf should sound hollow if tapped on the base.
The loaf is best eaten on the day it’s made, but will keep for a second day if kept in an airtight container.