There really isn't much that is tastier and satisfying than a home cooked loaf of bread! With the crusty layer on the outside that you have to bite through to reveal the soft tasty bread on the inside I believe that it is one of the finest eating pleasures! It really makes me wonder why anyone would want to go carbs free...
But alas, for the first time I decided to try and make some of this yummy food and here is the result.....

I ended up using the recipe in the Great British Bake Off cookery book from last year and it is the bread that they had to make in the technical challenge- the plaited loaf! I thought my first bread should be a nice easy one =P I actually chose this one because I thought it would impress on my application form for the Great British Bake Off but it however did not...but still very interesting to make =D

So first thing is making the dough-

500g strong white bread flour in a bowl with 10g salt on one side of the bowl and 2x7g sachets of yeast on the other side. You don't want these to touch or the salt can kill the yeast. Add 20ml olive oil and mix until everything is combined. If using you hand it can get prettttttty messy!

So, you will need 40 ml of water at room temp but for now add 3/4 and bring the mis together and then work in the rest of the water.

I found it pretty hard to knead it after this so if there are any tips of kneading bread at this stage I would love to hear them! At this point you want the dough to be "slightly soft but not sticky, nor dry and tough"

Lightly oil another bowl that will be able to handle the dough to rise to double the size, tip the dough in there and cover with cling film. It should only take an hour to double in size. I actually went shopping during this time so was more like a couple of hours for me!

This is actually the super fun part! Knocking back the dough by giving it one punch in the middle of the bowl and then it totally gets gets all the air out. Check it out!
Check out that super awesome punch! =D
Tip it out into a lightly floured worktop and separate the dough into 8 equal bits. Once measured roll out the bits into long sausage shapes measuring about 40cm. At one end group all of the strands together so it looks like a bit of an octopus like this>>>>>

The sequence for the plait is as follows:
1- 8 under 7 and over 1
2- 8 over 5
3- 2 under 3 and over 8
4- 1 over 4
5- 7 under 6 and over 1

Repeat steps 2-5 until it is all braided!
 I think I managed to do a wrong step because my braids were very uneven by the end! But once its all braided tuck in the ends so that it is all neat.

Leave it to proof again for about an hour and then brush it all over with a beaten egg. Bake for 20-25 mins in a preheated oven in 200C. Let me know if you guys have any experience making bread then let me know what you made and how you find making bread! =D