English Bloomer Bread

5/5 - (2 votes)

English Bloomer Bread is a lovely freeform loaf. The shape of the loaf is oval. It can be a long oval or a short one. Obviously, a shorter oval will make a taller loaf. But both ways make a good size for sandwiches.

The bread is made with a basic dough and just a little butter. Optionally, some diastatic malt powder helps with the rise and the crust. But I stress that is optional. If you don’t have the bread, it will still be great. As I mentioned, great for sandwiches and for toast too. The recipe is simple and can easily be made by hand. But for simplicity, I like to use my stand mixer.

English Bloomer Bread

Dough For English Bloomer Bread

For the ingredients, we need bread flour, yeast, lukewarm water, sugar, salt, butter and diastatic malt powder (if using). To make the dough, simply mix the water, sugar, yeast and diastatic malt powder together. Then add in about half of the flour and all of the salt. Mix that all together into a wet dough. Gradually add in the remaining flour and mix until it forms a dough. Knead the dough well for about ten minutes. By that time, it will be soft and stretchy. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl and cover the bowl. Allow the dough to proof until it doubles in size.

Shaping The Bread

Deflate the dough and form into a rectangle. Fold one third of the dough over onto the remainder and fold the last third over onto that. Roll it up, tautly, then use your hands to roll it into a longer log. Form it into an oval, crimping the ends neatly. Place the dough onto a lined baking tray and cover it with a clean towel until it has risen well, about double again.

English Bloomer Bread, sliced

Baking The Bread

The dough will be puffy. Then score the top with five diagonal lines. Place a tray of hot water into the oven. Bake the bread in the oven, 190C/170C Fan/390F for about 30 minutes. That will make a loaf that has a lovely crust. But, for a thicker crust, you can also bake the bread for longer. My bloomer bread was in the oven for 30 minutes. It rose very well and coloured nicely. The internal temperature of the bread was 93C, about 199F. I allowed the bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing. I enjoyed a taste of the lovely soft bread, with some butter on it, and it was just perfect. Great for my lunchtime sandwiches.

English Bloomer Bread

Another great version is Garlic, Cheese & Onion Bloomer Loaf

English Bloomer Bread

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: BreadCuisine: EnglishDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • 650g(4 1/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) bread flour

  • 7g(1 packet) instant yeast

  • 370ml(1 1/2 cups+2 tsp) lukewarm water

  • 6g(1/2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 14g(1 tbsp) soft unsalted butter

  • 6g(1 tsp) salt

  • 2.5g(3/4 tsp) diastatic malt powder – optional

Directions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer(you can do everything by hand too) place the water, yeast, sugar, butter and diastatic malt powder.
  • Mix it all together until the butter has broken up.
  • Add half of the flour and then all of the salt and mix in a low to medium speed until it forms a wet dough.
  • Continue mixing as you gradually add the remaining flour and achieve a shaggy dough.
  • Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and stretchy. It may be slightly tacky . Remember that if the dough is too dry you can add a drop more water. If it is too wet you can add a little more flour.
  • Form the dough into a tight ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl, turning over to cover in oil.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and proof in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. Mine took about an hour.
  • Tip the dough on to your work surface and deflate it.
  • Press the dough into a rectangle and then fold it over one third from one side and one third from the other side, like folding a letter.
  • Roll the dough into a taut log.
  • Use your hands to roll the log out to the length you wish, that will fit on your baking tray, with room to proof and rise.
  • Place it on a lined baking tray and cover it with a clean towel.
  • Allow the dough to rise again, until is has just about doubled in size and is puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/390F.
  • Place a pan of hot water into the oven, on a rack below where the bread will bake.
  • Using a very sharp knife or blade score 5 diagonal lines on the top of the dough, about 1 cm deep
  • Place the dough into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until it has risen well and coloured nicely. Leave it for longer if you wish to have a thicker crust.
  • Transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

1 Comment

  1. You caught me out there Geoff, recipe for 2 loaves, I made one loaf, it was truly enormous. Not complaining though it was a very good loaf. I made one for my next door neighbour and it was almost as big as his two year old daughter, that’ll teach me to listen to the instructions carefully.

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