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Basic Bread Making Techniques

It Is  one of the most important stages of making bread, because it develops the gluten which gives the dough its elasticity, and distributes the yeast evenly.
To knead by hand take the edge of the dough and pull it to the centre with your fingers, push out with the heal of your hand so that the dough rolls out on the board, give it a quarter turn and repeat. Knead for approximately 10 minutes.
It is the period the dough must be left for the yeast to do its work. To prove the dough, place it in a warm draught free place. The warmth will cause the dough to rise. It will rise even in cool conditions, but it will take longer. Always cover the dough with a wet tea towel when proving, it will stop a skin developing. Dough, when risen properly, should have doubled in size and should spring back and feel very slightly sticky.
Knocking Back
Sometimes during the first rise a dough will expand unevenly, knocking back is simply punching all the gas out of the dough. It will create an even crumb structure. The dough is left to prove again in the tin until it has doubled its size once more.
Bread should be baked in a hot oven 425f (220c). NB some ovens do not go this high. Too test if a loaf is baked, tap on the underside, if it sounds hollow it’s done.  Always allow bread to cool on a wire tray.

To make a 750 gram loaf    7g Dried Yeast

                                          500g Bread Flour (any variety)

                                           1 1/2tsp Salt

                                          2tsp (10g) Butter/ Olive Oil

                                          320ml Tepid Water

Preheat oven to 220C/425F/ Gas mark 7

• In a jug dissolve  yeast in 320 ml tepid water

• Place flour, butter (if using oil dissolve with yeast), salt in a warm bowl and mix.

• Combine flour mix and water mix to form a soft dough

• Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes

• Shape as desired and put into a bowl covered with a damp tea towel, leave to prove (rise) slowly until double in size.

• Knock back and place in a loaf tin and cover.

• Allow to rise near the top of the tin.

• Add your chosen topping/glaze if using

• Place into oven at 220C/425F

• Bake for approximately 25-30 minute

• Remove from the oven and turn on to a wire tray.  

Sour Dough

Sour dough bread is the oldest way of making bread by using the natural yeast in the air and grain.

It is a big step from using a bread machine or baking by hand.  You have to make a sour dough starter that becomes your favourite pet, like a pet it needs feeding and  regular attention.


Sour dough bread is becoming quite a cult and growing in popularity. We sell frozen sour dough starter from the mill shop.

To download a recipe click here.