I have a very old copy of this book on bread making published by Hamlyn. It has a complete history of bread making around the world, starting 8000 years ago, as well as lots of recipes. I keep it because I use a few of the recipes, like the ones for tortillas and chapattis, every week, but there are also lots that I have never tried. So I thought that it might be fun in this season of Lent and plainer food, to try a new bread recipe once a week. The first one is for a simple white loaf which is ideal for beginners and I adapted it a bit as we don't eat much salt and not at all in bread. No salt means that the yeast will raise the dough quickly so you have to keep an eye on it, also I used oil in place of lard as it is a bit healthier and gives a softer loaf.
2 tsps dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
400ml warm water
675g white bread flour
Blend the sugar and yeast into a little of the warm water and leave on one side to get frothy. Once it is frothy put all the other ingredients into a large mixing bowl and add the yeast mixture. Mix to form a firm dough, add a bit extra flour if it is too sticky. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a bowl and put back into the mixing bowl. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Knock the dough down and shape into 2 loaves or 12 rolls. Place on a greased baking tray and leave to double in size covered with a cloth. Then bake at 200C for about 30-35 minutes for loaves, 15-20 minutes for rolls.
Enjoy that delicious smell of fresh baked bread throughout the house !