- 2 teaspoons of Lowan Instant Dried Yeast
- Melted butter, for greasing and brushing
- 500g (3 1/3 cups) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 375mL (1 1/2 cups) lukewarm water
- extra water for brushing
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, for sprinkling – optional
1. Brush a 10cm x 20cm loaf pan with the melted butter to lightly grease.
2. Place the plain flour , yeast and salt in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Make a well in the centre and add the water to the dry ingredients (the water needs to be lukewarm to activate the yeast and encourage it to grow, if the water is too hot is can kill the yeast).
3. Use a wooden spoon to stir until combined and then use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic – you can tell when the dough has been kneaded enough by pressing your finger into the surface of the dough and if it springs back, it has been kneaded sufficiently.
5. Shape the dough into a ball. Brush a large bowl with the metled butter to grease, Place the dough into the bowl and turn it over to lightly coat the dough surface with the butter to stop the dough from drying out as it stands.
6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and then place it in a warm, draught-free place to allow the dough to rise – the best place would be on a wooden board on the door of the oven with the pilot light on, or in a sheltered, sunny spot (the ideal temperature for rising bread dough is around 30 degrees Celsius)
7. Leave the dough in this spot until it is double its size. This should take between 45-75 minutes to double in size.
8. Once the dough has doubled its size, Punch it down in the centre with your first – this is done to realeas excess carbon dioxide so the final bread won’t have a “yeasty” flavour
9. Turn the dough into a lighlty floured surface and knead again for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic and returned to its original size.
10. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius
11. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape each into a smooth round ball – make sure they are even. Place the portions of dough side by side in the greased loaf pan. Brush lightly with the melted butter. Stand in the pan in a warm, draught-free place, as before, fro about 30 minutes or until the dough has risen about 1cm about the top of the pan.
12. Gently brush the loaf with a little water and then sprinkle with the poppy seeds – if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through – to tell if it is cooked, tap it on the base with your knuckle and if it sounds hollow its is cooked.
13. Turn the loaf immediately onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
14. Once cool, store the loaf in a well ventilated place at room temperature.