- 300ml (½pt) dry cider
- 1tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 1tbsp dried active yeast or 1 x 7g sachet of fast action yeast
- 450g (1lb) strong white bread flour
- 50g (2oz) strong wholemeal bread flour
- 2tsp salt
- 50g (2oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large free-range egg, beaten
- 2tbsp milk, for brushing
- you will need
- 900g (2lb) loaf tin, lightly oiled
In a saucepan bring the cider and sugar to the boil and simmer gently for 1 minute then turn off the heat and allow to cool until lukewarm to the touch. In a small cup mix 2tbsp of the cooled cider with the dried active yeast until you have a smooth paste.
Combine the flours with the salt in a large bowl making a well in the middle, then pour in the yeast mixture, the butter and the egg along with two thirds of the the cider. Stir well until you have a soft, dough that can easily be brought together with your hand in the bowl. Add the remaining cider if the dough looks too dry.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth dough which is springy to the touch. A little tackiness is good but if the dough seems too sticky once you have started working it then you can knead a little more flour in with clean, floured hands. Put the dough in a large, oiled bowl covered with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes until doubled in size; by the oven on a wire rack is ideal.
When the dough feels soft and pillowy and has risen, knock it back by kneading gently for 1 minute on a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough by rolling it at either end with your hands into a large sausage shape that fits the length of your loaf tin. Carefully place the dough into the prepared tin and press it gently into the corners. Cover lightly with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise again for about 30 minutes or until just puffed up proud of the tin’s rim.
Preheat the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6. Brush the loaf with milk and bake in the top third of the oven for 35 minutes until well risen and golden all over.
If using fast action yeast there is no need to mix it with liquid so add the yeast straight to the flour.This recipes also makes 10 cider bread baps. After the dough has first risen, knock back, divide into 10 equal pieces and shape into flat rounds. Leave to double in size, covered in oiled cling film on an oiled baking sheet, dust with flour and bake at 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6 for 20 minutes.