Wednesday 12 March 2014

White Bloomer Bread.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I can finally  tell you all about my adventures in baking homemade bread.

 I've tried many recipes in the past but none has been as successful as this one so I hope you give it a try as well. 

To make bread at home is not difficult but it takes time. So you need to plan things out. But I promise you that your own bread will be unique and nothing like the stuff in packets.
Give it a go today and it'll be a new experience for you. And the smell coming from your oven will be hard to beat!
Warning - after making your own bread, shop bought bread won't taste the same any more - sorry! :)

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Strong White Bread Flour

2. Water
3. Salt
4. Dried Yeast

Bismillah, let's begin!

The most important thing I learnt whilst baking bread is that you need dried yeast that hasn't gone out of date. So, make sure to check the date!

Tip 1 tablespoon (1 x 7 gram packet) Dried Yeast into a bowl.

And, add 100 ml Lukewarm Water. Another important point - the water should be lukewarm. When you dip your finger in, it should be warm but not cause you intense pain.

Give the yeast and water a good stir, and set aside for 10 minutes.

Into a large bowl, add 2 teaspoons Salt. You can use a stand mixer to make bread (like I did) or do it the old fashioned way - by hand!

Then, take 24 ounces (680 grams) Strong White Bread Flour. This is available in all supermarkets nowadays.

Tip the flour into the bowl.

Pour in the water and yeast mixture.

Along with 330 ml Lukewarm Water.

Give it a mix until it begins to form a dough.

Then, set your timer for 10 minutes and get kneading! If your using the stand mixer, use the dough hook attachement.

If you're doing this by hand, then tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and get kneading.

After 10 minutes, a lovely dough should have formed.

Place it onto a floured counter.

Give it a knead for a minute and then form into a ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl and put in the dough.

Lightly brush the dough with a little oil too - which I forgot to mention in the written recipe - oops!

Cover the bowl tightly with cling film.

Put it in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until it has doubled in size and looks like this! My warm place for bread rising is my oven with the door closed. I preheat the oven for about 10 minutes on the lowest heat, and then switch it off. Then, I put the bread in to rise! And it's perfect every time!

Take the dough back onto the counter.

And, knock it back. This is literally just punching it to get the air bubbles out - it's actually really fun :)

Knead for 5 minutes and then form into the ball again.

Plop it back into the bowl, cover and back into the warm place for 1 hour.

After an hour ..

.. throw it back out onto the counter.

Knock the air out again.

Form it back into a ball, and let it rest in the bowl for 5 minutes.

Back onto a floured surface, and get out the rolling pin.

Roll it to a rectangle - it doesn't have to be perfect at all!

Plump it up slightly so as to get the traditional bloomer shape.

Put the dough onto a lightly oiled baking tray and cover, and leave to rest for 15 minutes on the counter. 
Please excuse my tray - it's actually quite a tragic story. This is a swiss roll tray  that I bought and didn't even get a chance to make a Swiss roll in before I decided to grill some Chicken Tikka in it under an extremely hot grill - and now my mother has regulated it to the savoury baking tray category :(

After resting, plump the dough up.

And, cut slits into it with a sharp knife. Cover and leave to rest again for 10 minutes.
At this point, take a shallow baking dish and fill it with water. Place this on the bottom shelf of your oven. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7.

Mix 2 tablespoons of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Brush this over the dough.

Bake in a preheated oven at Gas Mark 7 (for the conversions - check the full recipe at the end) for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. It should also sound hollow when knocked underneath - for more info if this isn't the case - check the full recipe.

Allow to cool completely before slicing. If you want a crusty loaf, cool as it is. If you prefer a softer crust, when it comes out of the oven, wrap tightly in cling film and allow to cool like that.
p.s. I know that there are many steps to this recipe but it's not difficult - you just need to plan out your time :)

Full Written Recipe:

White Bloomer Bread

Adapted from The Bread Kitchen 

Ingredients – Makes 1 Large Loaf
24 ounces (680 grams) Strong White Bread Flour
430 ml Lukewarm Water
2 teaspoons Salt
1 tablespoon or 1x7g packet Dried Yeast


1.          Take 100 ml of the lukewarm water and add to dried yeast to it. Stir and leave for 10 minutes.

2.          Put the flour and salt into a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer (using the dough hook attachment). Make a well in the centre, and pour in the yeast mixture and the remaining lukewarm water (330 ml).

3.          Mix and then knead until the flour is incorporated.

4.          If making the bread by hand, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. If making it using a stand mixer, let it go on the lowest speed for 10 minutes.

5.          Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough into the bowl, and cover tightly with cling film.

6.          Put into a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. I usually put it into my oven with the door closed. I preheat the oven on the lowest heat for a few minutes and then turn it off.

7.          Once the dough has risen, remove from the bowl onto a surface. Knock back the dough and knead for 5 minutes.

8.          Then, place it back into the bowl. Cover and put back into your warm place for 1 hour.

9.          Remove from bowl and knock back again. Knead for 5 minutes, and then leave to rest in the bowl for 5 minutes.

10.   Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Fold up the sides and place seam side down onto a large baking tray. Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

11.   Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7 or 220C or 425F.

12.   Take a shallow baking dish and fill halfway with water. Place this on the bottom shelf of the oven.

13.   Plump up the dough and cut diagonal slits into it. Cover and leave for 10 minutes.

14.   Mix 2 tablespoons of water with ½ teaspoon of salt. Brush this over the bread.

15.   Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

16.   Once baked, it should be golden brown. The underneath should sound hollow when knocked. If this is not the case, turn the bread upside down on the tray, and carefully place back into the oven to bake for another 10 minutes and then check it again.

17.   Once the bread is done, remove from the oven. If you want a crust on it, then leave to cool as it is. If you like a softer crust, wrap the entire loaf tightly in cling film until cooled completely.

18.   When the bread is completely cool, slice and serve. Use for sandwiches or toast – basically anything that you usually use bread for! Enjoy!

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Keep me in your duas, please,


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