Classic white tin loaf

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • For

    1

    large loaf

Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

It is always my mission to get the best toast and that is why I add fat to my bread dough. A study by the Good Housekeeping Institute into the best bread for toast showed that a supermarket bread came out as the best and this bread contained fat. The fat ensures that the bread colours nicely and doesn’t dry out during toasting, so you get crisp toast with a wonderfully soft interior.

According to, the Tin loaf is a British invention. It allowed bakeries to bake more loaves at once and at its early inception it was also a very clean alternative to the bread baked straight onto the coal- and wood-fired bread ovens.

Ingredients

  • 12 g (¼ oz) dried yeast
  • 330 ml (11¼ fl oz) lukewarm water
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) strong white bread flour
  • 20 g (¾ oz) butter, diced
  • 10 g (¼ oz) fine sea salt
  • butter, for greasing

Method

For a loaf tin (1 kg/2 lb 4 oz)

Add the yeast to the lukewarm water and stir briefly and gently to activate it. The yeast will start to foam up in clusters, which means it is ready to use. Put the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and put the butter on top. Pour half of the yeast mixture over the butter and start kneading. Add the rest of the yeast mixture, little by little. You may not need all of the liquid if your flour is very fresh. If your flour has been in your cupboard for a while, then you definitely need all the liquid.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then let it stand for a few minutes. Add the salt and then knead for 10 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for a few minutes. (You can, of course, do the entire process by hand.) Put the dough back into the bowl, cover and set aside to rise until it has doubled, which can take 1-2 hours, depending on how warm the room is.

Briefly knead the dough by pulling it upwards and then pressing it back in again. This prepares the gluten to expand upwards during proofing and baking. Roll the dough into a sausage and tuck the corners underneath. Grease the loaf tin and place your dough in it. Cover the tin with a large plastic bag (I keep one especially for this purpose). Let the dough rise for 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F).

Leave the loaf as it is or slash the top with a sharp knife (this takes some practice). For a nice crust, you can put a heatproof bowl with water in the oven to create steam during baking.

Place the tin in the middle of the oven and lower the temperature to 220°C (425°F). Bake for 25-30 minutes until your bread is beautifully golden brown. Remove the bread from the tin and bake for another 5 minutes. Your bread is ready when it sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom. Let the bread cool on a wire rack. As long as it is warm, it is still baking.