I regularly make 3 loaves at once, putting 2 in the freezer - this is how I do it.
Get everything together first
Enough ingredients for three loaves
- Strong flour of your choice
- Warm water
- Oil/butter (cut into very small pieces)
All the equipment
- Measuring jugs/spoons
- 3 large bowls (preferably plastic)
- Kneading surface/board
- Bread tins and/or baking tray
- Weigh 500g of flour, 7g of yeast and 1tsp of salt into each bowl (remembering to keep the yeast and salt to either side of the bowl). Set 2 aside and put in the oil (20ml) or butter (20g) plus 300ml of warm water.
- Mix everything together trying to squeeze it all together, tip everything (including the loose flour) onto your kneading surface and knead for 7 to 10 mins, you will find everything comes together eventually. Once you have a smooth dough pour a tiny bit of oil into the bottom of the same bowl and put in the dough. Cover with clingfilm.
- Repeat 3 for the 2 remaining bowls of flour, yeast and salt mixtures.
- Place the 3 bowls in a warm area i.e. a sunny spot in the kitchen or near to a warm radiator.
- Leave until at least doubled in size (1 or 2 hours).
- Once the dough has risen enough (I think it looks like a soft pillow) tip out each one at a time knocking it back using your fingers or knuckles (essentially pushing out the air). Put back into each bowl and leave for another hour or so.
- Once the dough has risen for a second time (it may not rise as much as the first time) it is time to shape. I find it easiest to make two tin loaves and one bloomer so they can all fit on the same shelf of the oven.
- As before knock back each dough and shape as desired. Putting the shaped dough into a tin or on a baking sheet.
- Leave for another 30 minutes.
- Set the oven to 2200C and once up to temperature put the bread in the oven.
- After 10 minutes turn the oven temperature down to 2000C and cook for a further 30 minutes. These timings are for a bloomer or tin loaf.
- Once cooked take out of the oven and cool on a wire cooling rack.
- When completely cold the loaves can be put into freezer bags and frozen until needed.
After a little practice I have got the dough making to just under 30 minutes, the knocking back and shaping to 10 minutes and cooking 40 minutes. So excluding proving, which can just be left to it’s own devices, I can have 3 homemade loaves done in just under an hour and a half.