About two years ago, Nancy shared a bread recipe with us. It was one of Dan Lepard’s that she made quite often. I made it once and then completely forgot about it. Until I was looking through all the bread recipes again. Since then it has become my ‘go-to’ bread for B’s sandwiches.

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For a long time I made it just as Dan wrote it, but over the years I have changed it around til it is just the perfect bread for us.

This is the recipe as Dan wrote it:

    125g cold sour cream
    2 tsp salt
    2 tsp caster sugar
    1 sachet fast-action yeast
    550g strong white flour (bread), plus extra for shaping
    Oil, for kneading

In a large bowl, mix the cream with 150ml cold water and 100ml boiling water, add the salt, sugar and yeast, then mix in the flour until it forms a rough ball. Cover and leave to sit for 10 minutes.

Lightly oil a patch of worktop and gently knead the dough on it for 10 seconds. Return the dough to the bowl, leave it to sit for another 10 minutes, repeat the quick knead two more times at 10-minute intervals, then leave for an hour.

Butter the base and sides of a large, deep, 19cm-Iong loaf tin or similar and line the base with nonstick baking paper. Pat out the dough to about 2cm thick, roll it up tightly like a scroll and squish it seam-edge down into the tin. Leave to rise for 60-90 minutes,

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dust the top with flour and bake at 200C (180C fan-assisted)/390F/gas mark 6 for about 45 minutes.

The first change I made was to sub out some of the bread flour for White Whole Wheat. It gave it a nice nutty flavor. Plain Whole Wheat worked even better.

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One day I discovered I didn’t have any sour cream. I used yogurt. Worked just fine.

Today I was short on time so I threw the ingredients in a bread machine and let it ‘work’ the dough while I was on the road. I did not bake it in the machine, though.

Worked out just great. Then this morning, since I had workmen in the kitchen I put the whole thing in the bread machine and let the machine make the bread.

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Again – perfect bread!!

I have also made the bread with all AP flour!! No matter what changes I made the bread always came out perfectly. So if you need a good, never fail bread, this is the one you need.

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