Welcome to another day of our bread-making journey, where we explore the art of baking a Crusty Bloomer. This British bread, known for its crisp crust and soft interior, is unique because it’s baked without a bread tin, allowing it to ‘bloom’ beautifully in the oven. With just five simple ingredients, you can recreate this bakery-style loaf at home.
Understanding the Bloomer
The term ‘bloomer’ refers to the bread’s free-form shape, which allows for a more rustic and artisanal look compared to the uniformity of sandwich loaves. This bread is not only visually appealing but also boasts a delightful texture and taste.
The Recipe: Simple and Satisfying
Here’s how to make your own crusty bloomer:
- Mixing the Base: Combine 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 2¼ teaspoons of yeast, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Add 1½ cups of warm water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, mixing until a lumpy dough forms.
- Kneading to Perfection: Knead on a flat surface for 8-10 minutes until you achieve a smooth, slightly sticky, and elastic dough. Place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour.
- Shaping the Loaf: After rising, knead briefly and roll the dough into a rectangle. Fold and roll it into a loaf shape, sealing the ends.
- Second Rise: Allow the loaf to rise again, covered, for 45 minutes. Score the top with deep slashes and brush with water.
- Baking with Steam: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bake the loaf on the top rack with a water bath below for 15 minutes, then move to the bottom rack and bake for another 20 minutes until golden.
- Cooling and Enjoying: Let the bread cool before slicing.
Why This Bloomer Is a Must-Try
- Crusty Exterior: The baking method ensures a crisp, golden crust.
- Soft, Airy Interior: The inside of the bread is delightfully soft, making it perfect for various toppings or as is.
- Visual Appeal: The bloomer’s rustic look makes it a showstopper on any table.
- Water Bath: The steam from the water bath is crucial for developing a crusty exterior.
- Scoring the Dough: Deep cuts allow the bread to expand properly during baking.
- Rise Time: Ensure the dough doubles in size during both rises for the best texture.
The Joy of Baking Bread
Baking this crusty bloomer is not just about following a recipe; it’s an opportunity to engage in the timeless art of bread-making. It’s a chance to create something with your hands that’s both beautiful and delicious.
An Invitation to Bake and Share
Whether you’re a novice baker or a seasoned pro, this crusty bloomer recipe is a delightful challenge. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and let’s bake a loaf that’s as satisfying to make as it is to eat. Happy baking! 🍞🎉🥖
- 3 ¾ Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 2 ¼ Tsp Instant Yeast
- 1 ½ Cups Warm Water
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- In a bowl, combine all purpose flour, yeast and salt. Pour in warm water and olive oil. Mix well until a lumpy dough forms.
- Transfer to a flat surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until a smooth, slightly sticky, elastic dough forms. Form into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour (or until doubled in size) in a warm place.
- Once done, transfer back to flat surface and knead 2-3 times. Roll your dough into a rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Fold the short sides into the centre, covering each other. Then roll the short side into a loaf, sealing the ends with your hand. Seal the ends (pull them under the loaf)
- Cover your loaf and allow to rise for another 45 minutes. Once done, score the loaf make 3 deep slashes, then brush the entire loaf (especially the cuts) with water.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place your loaf on the top rack and a water bath on the bottom rack. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the water bath and move your loaf to the bottom rack and bake for another 20 min or until golden.
- Remove, allow to cool and enjoy!!!