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English bloomer loaf on cooling rack with slices

Crusty English Bloomer Bread


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large loaf 1x

Description

This classic English bread is the perfect yeast bread recipe for beginners—it only takes 5 ingredients!  Learn how to make one loaf of beautifully crusty homemade bread with a Kitchenaid mixer or by hand.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups + 3 tablespoons bread flour (500g)
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (43g)
  • 1 1/3 cup water (325 ml)

Instructions

Making the Bread Dough (25 minutes + 1 1/2 hours proving)

  1. Pour the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, stirring in each one with your finger.  Make sure they don’t touch each other directly, as the salt can kill or stunt the yeast.
  2. Dump in the softened butter and half of the water, then turn the mixer on low speed.  Gradually trickle in the remaining water and keep mixing until a smooth, sticky dough forms.  You may not need all the water, or you might need a little extra, depending upon the brand of flour.
  3. Switch the attachment to a dough hook and knead on medium-low speed for 3-5 minutes, until the dough passes the windowpane test.  Test it by breaking off a lump of dough and stretching it between the thumb and forefinger of each hand to create a windowpane.  If the dough stretches to be translucent without breaking, it’s kneaded enough; if not, knead for a minute longer and check again.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let the dough prove at room temperature until at least doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Shaping the Bloomer Bread (10 minutes + 1 hour proving)

  1. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and punch it down all over to knock out pockets of gas.
  2. Shape the dough into a rectangle about 9 inches wide, then fold the two ends into the middle.  Roll up the loaf tightly from one of the long sides to create the bloomer.  Pinch the seam to seal, then place it seam-side down on a large cookie sheet.
  3. Place the loaf inside a large, clean garbage bag and inflate the bag.  Tuck the ends underneath the tray to seal.  Let the loaf prove at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. About 10 minutes before the loaf is done proving, preheat the oven to 425 F.  Place an old metal baking pan in the lower shelf of the oven to preheat.

Baking the Bloomer Bread (40 minutes + cooling)

  1. Just before baking the loaf, remove the garbage bag and cut a few diagonal slashes on the top of the loaf with a sharp serrated knife or baker’s lame.
  2. Place the loaf in the oven, then immediately pour some tap water into the hot metal pan underneath the loaf and quickly shut the oven door.  This will create steam, which will give the loaf a hearty crust.  Bake at 425 F for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan of water, lower the heat to 400 F, and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  The loaf should be a rich golden brown and have an internal temperature of 200 F with a meat thermometer.
  4. Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes before slicing and serving.  The cooling time allows the bread to finish cooking all the way through.  Cutting it too soon will give you a gummy interior.

Notes

  • Feel free to make this bread by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer.  Just stir and crush the dough with your hand to mix, then knead on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes.
  • This bloomer bread is incredibly versatile, and can be served with sweet or savory toppings.  Make it into sandwiches, appetizers, bread and butter pudding, or breadcrumbs.
  • Store leftover bread in a zip-top bag at room temperature, or freeze for longer storage.
  • The pleasure of a 5 star review for this English bloomer recipe would be greatly appreciated.
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: white bloomer, crusty white

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