As someone who grew up with my parents working in the shop, one of my longest lasting memories was the Strickland & Holt bread. Whether you enjoy a simple cheese and ham sandwich, toast, or dipping into a hearty soup, it just tastes fantastic.
We have included this recipe so that you can make this bread at home. The recipe is very versatile, and can be used to make a white loaf too, but if you’re looking for that authentic taste of the S&H granary loaf then you’ll need the flour we use. Head over to xxhyperlinkxx to purchase some, or alternatively, pop into our shop where you can pick it up without any postage costs…
It’s easy to think that making bread takes ages…well it does take a while compared to dropping into the local shop to buy one, but the reality is that you don’t have to spend much time making it, no more than 30 min in total, you just need to be around for the important parts and can do what you want in between! Once you get used to the timing, it’s easy to fit it in around your day.
Ingredients – makes 3 medium loaves
1Kg of flour
7g (1 packet) or teaspoon of dried yeast or 18g of fresh yeast1
4 tablespoons of oil (preferably sunflower oil)
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
NOTE: the method below describes how to make the bread by hand. I do the first mix with a kitchen mixer with dough hook. The method is the same as hand, but you know when it’s fully mixed when it starts to bash around the mixing bowl.
1st Stage – initial mix and knead
Measure out the water and add the yeast. leave on the side for 10min to activate the yeast.
Measure the flour into a large bowl, and add the salt, sugar and mix together with one hand or a spoon.
Make a well in the middle of the dry mix, add the oil and water into the middle and mix together with one hand using the other hand to hold the bowl still.
It will take a while to come together but keep kneading until it all comes together into one ball of dough, probably about 5-10 minutes of mixing. Be sure to get all the flour from the edges of the bowl and hands by the end of kneading. It should look similar to the picture below:
Leave covered for 1-2 hours in a warm place until the dough has risen to double the size. I use a plate but a tea-towel or cling-film will also do, main reason to ensure that the dough doesn’t dry out whilst proving.
2nd Stage – loaf knead
The dough should look similar to the picture below:
At this point, flour the worktop and tip out the flour onto the surface. Split out into three 530g balls of dough (or thereabouts) and knead by holding one edge with one hand using the palm of your other hand to drag back the dough on top of itself. This helps to capture extra air in the loaf, helping it to rise. As you knead, the dough will become more elastic and harder to work with.
If the dough is sticking to your hands, add a little flour to your hands until it stops sticking.
Once the dough becomes really quite difficult to knead, it’s about ready. Use both hands to cup the loaf into the shape of the loaf – as tight as you can make it.
Add a teaspoon of oil to the baking tray that you are going to use – I find a dusting of flour over the oil ensures the loaves don’t stick to the tray. You can put the loaves on two trays but I use a large tray that is just big enough – even though they end up touching each other after they have been baked.
Position the loaves as far apart as you can similar to the picture below:
Dust the loaves with flour and cover with a tea-towel. Leave in a warm place for at least 1 hour until they are about double in size, similar to the picture below:
Final Stage – Cooking!
The way I tell whether they are ready to go in the oven, is that I push lightly on the surface of the bread and it springs back, but only slowly.
Turn on the oven to 185C (fan assisted). Once up to temperature place the baking tray in the oven and set the timer for 25min.
Once the 25min has passed, I take out, lift up one loaf and tap the bottom of the loaf. There should be a hollow sound but if you’re not sure, put in for another 5 minutes.
Take the loaves off the baking tray and place on a cooling rack so that the bottoms don’t go soggy.
Resist the temptation to eat for 15min (I quite often fail here…) as the inside of the loaf is still cooking, and that’s it! all done!
Time to enjoy, whichever way you choose…..
The loaves should be eaten in a couple of days for them to be at their best. I keep them in cake tin or carrier bag to ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible. They freeze really well too, and provided you let them defrost naturally over an hour or two, taste almost the same as a fresh loaf.