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Basic-white-bread_cIngredients:
* 15g (1/2 oz) fresh yeast

OR:
* 2 x 5ml spoons (2 teaspoons) dried yeast

* 275ml (1/2 pint) warm water
* 1 x 5ml spoon (1 teaspoon) castor sugar
* 450g (1 lb) strong plain flour, sieved with
* 2 x 5ml spoons (2 teaspoons) salt
* 15g (1/2 oz) Stork margarine
* Beaten egg or milk, to glaze

OVEN: Pre-heat to very hot (230°C, 450°F, Gas No. 8)
SHELF: Middle
1. Grease a large polythene bag and a 1 kg (2 lb) loaf tin.
2. Either blend fresh yeast in 150ml (1/4 pint) of the warm water (25-27°C, 78-82°F) add sugar, or dissolve 1 x 5ml spoon (1 teaspoon) sugar in 150ml (1/4 pint) of warm water (43°C, 110°F), sprinkle dried yeast on top and leave until frothy, about 10 minutes.
3. Place flour and salt in bowl and rub in Stork. Mix in yeast liquid and remaining water. Mix with wooden spoon until dough leaves sides of bowl clean.
4. Turn dough onto lightly-floured surface and knead thoroughly until firm, elastic and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.
5. Shape dough into ball, place in polythene bag or covered bowl and leave in a warm place to rise for 45-60 minutes.
6. Turn dough onto lightly-floured surface, flatten firmly with knuckles to knock out air bubbles. Shape dough to fit loaf tin. Cover with greased polythene or foil and return to warm place to prove until risen to top of the tin.
7. Brush loaf with beaten egg or milk Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes. Turn onto a baking sheet Bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and sounding hollow when tapped underneath.
NB: This quantity of dough will also make 2 x 450g (1 lb) loaves. AT STAGE 6: Divide in half and shape dough to fit tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Preparation time: 25 mins (excluding rising and proving)
Cooking time: 35-50 mins
Freezing note: Freeze all bread tightly wrapped in foil or in a polythene bag, sliced or whole. The crust of crusty loaves tends to shell off when thawed, but otherwise bread freezes well.

Variations
Plaited Loaf
At STAGE 6: Knead, then divide dough into 3 and roll each piece into a sausage shape. Pinch together at one end, plait up and pinch at other end to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet and leave covered to prove for 30-40 minutes until doubled in size.

Wholemeal
Use half wholemeal, half white flour.

Microwave
The rising process can be speeded up by placing the dough in a bowl, covering with cling film and heating on HIGH for 10-15 seconds, then leaving to stand for 10 minutes. Repeat this process 2 or 3 times until the dough has doubled in size.

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