Paul Hollywood shares his bloomer bread recipe - and you need to try it (2024)

There's nothing quite like a freshly made loaf of bread and Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood has a quick and easy recipe for us to try at home.

The popular TV judge shared his best bloomer recipe with us - and it takes only 40 minutes to bake!

Make sure you allow plenty of time for the dough to prove so it rises and blooms well in the oven.

MORE:The Queen's all-time favourite foods revealed by former royal chef


Ingredients to make bloomer bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g salt
  • 7g fast-action dried or quick yeast
  • 40ml olive oil, plus extra for oiling


Step-by-step guide of how to make bloomer bread

Step 1: Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other, pour in the oil and 240ml cool water and use the fingers of one hand to mix together. Use a clawing action to stir the water into the dry ingredients, so you gather in all the flour.

Step 2: Once you’ve got going, add another 80ml water, a little at a time, until you have a soft, sticky (but not soggy) dough and you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the water; it will depend on the absorbency of the flour you’re using. (Bear in mind that the dough will become less sticky as you knead.)

Paul Hollywood's Bread, £14.99, Amazon


Step 3: Pour a little oil onto a work surface. I use oil rather than flour to stop the dough sticking to the surface as it keeps the dough soft and does not alter the balance of flour to water. A wetter dough is harder to handle at first, but produces better bread. Knead the dough for 5–10 minutes (or longer if you’re a beginner). It will become less sticky and eventually turn into a smooth ball with an elastic texture. The time this takes depends on how vigorous you are with the dough. It is ready when it is really stretchy: if you pull a piece of the dough between your fingers you should be able to stretch it to at least 20cm.

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Step 4:Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave to rise until tripled in size – at least 1 hour, but it can take up to 3 hours depending on the temperature. A slow rise develops a better flavour, so don’t put it in a warm spot. The ambient temperature in most kitchens is between 18°C and 24°C, which is fine.

Step 5:Put the risen dough on a lightly floured surface; you now need to knock back the dough. Fold it in on itself several times to push the air out with your knuckles and the heels of your hands until the air is all knocked out and the dough smooth.

Step 6:To shape the dough into a bloomer, first flatten it into a rectangle, with a long side facing you. Fold the long side furthest from you into the middle of the rectangle. Then fold the long side closest to you into the middle, on top of the other fold. Turn the loaf over, so you have a smooth top with a seam along the base. Tuck the ends of the loaf under to make a rough oval shape. Rock gently to form the loaf into its bloomer shape.

Paul Hollywood is a judge on Great British Bake Off

Step 7:The bread is now ready to prove. This second rise of the shaped loaf is one of the secrets of great bread, enabling the dough to develop even more flavour as the yeast ferments, giving it a lighter texture. Put the loaf on a baking tray (lined with baking parchment if it isn’t non-stick). Put the whole tray inside a large, clean plastic bag, making sure there is plenty of space above the dough so it won’t touch the plastic when it rises. Alternatively, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm. Leave the loaf to prove, or rise again, until doubled in size – about 1 hour.

MORE: See more recipes to make at home

Step 8: To check when the bread is ready to bake, gently press it with your finger: the dough should spring back. While the bread is proving, preheat your oven to 220°C, gas mark 7, and put a roasting tray on the bottom shelf to heat up.

Step 9: Lightly spray or sprinkle the bread with water. Dust with a handful of flour, smoothing it all over the top of your loaf with the palm of your hand. Be gentle – you don’t want to knock any air out of the loaf. Using a sharp knife, make a few diagonal slashes across the top, 2–3cm deep at a 45° angle. The loaf expands on baking, so the slashes open up. If you do not slash the top, cracks will form around the bottom of the crust.

Step 10: Just before you put the loaf in the oven, pour about 1-litre water into the roasting tray on the bottom shelf. This will create steam when the loaf is baking and give it a crisp crust and a slight sheen. Put the loaf tray on the middle shelf and bake for 25 minutes. Lower the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6, and bake for 10–15 minutes more, until the crust has a good colour. Hold the loaf in a tea towel and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

This recipe was provided by Waitroseback in 2017.

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Paul Hollywood shares his bloomer bread recipe - and you need to try it (2024)


What is the difference between bloomer and bread? ›

The name 'Bloomer' refers to the shape of the bread, which is usually a crusty loaf that is rounded at the ends and on the top, with a flat bottom. It is allowed to rise or 'bloom' without a bread tin holding it in place.

What yeast does Paul Hollywood use? ›

Yeast. The idea of yeast may seem scary to first-time bakers. However, instant yeast is easy to buy, store and use. I always use 'fast-action' or 'easy-blend' yeast.

Where does the bloomer bread come from? ›

The bloomery was the earliest form of smelter capable of smelting iron. England's old clay ovens look rather like a bloomery, and the bread made in them looks rather like a bloom. Thus, bloomer bread.

What is the difference between bloomer and farmhouse bread? ›

The bloomer is a good honest white loaf which is paired greatly with soup, or as part of a ploughman's lunch. Similar in texture to the farmhouse, but slightly different in shape & size. NOTE: Loaf pictured is the small sized bloomer, the large bloomer is approximately twice the size.

What kind of bread is a bloomer? ›

Bloomer, a type of loaf of bread – a crusty loaf with rounded ends, and typically with several parallel diagonal slashes across its top.

What yeast do professional bakers use? ›

Instant yeast is my preferred commercial yeast, and the one many of the home bread bakers II know opt for as well.

Why do you put butter in bread dough? ›

Butter, technically a dough enrichment, tenderizes bread dough and limits gluten development, yielding a softer, more tender crumb and a richer flavor. The butter in this sourdough babka dough makes the interior tender—and delicious. Photo by Maurizio Leo.

What's the point of a cottage loaf? ›

Its instantly recognizable shape, formed by placing one smaller, round loaf on top of a larger one, gives it both a unique look and a textural contrast of soft and crusty. The reason for its strange, stacked formation? It was likely a space-saving tactic in tiny bread ovens.

Who makes the Walmart bread? ›

Sara Lee. Since its founding in 1939, Sara Lee has been a household name when it comes to frozen baked goods. Today, Sara Lee also produces Walmart's Great Value bread. This includes the Great Value White Bread, Whole Wheat Bread and Sourdough Bread.

Is bloomer bread white or brown? ›

Championly baked and generously sized! Our Bloomers are available in Soft White, Multigrain Brown, Multiseed & Super Seeded varieties.

Is seeded bloomer bread good for you? ›

This delicious bread is LOW CARB (only 2.2g per 100g), HIGH PROTEIN and HIGH FIBRE making it suitable for a range of dietary requirements.

What food does Paul Hollywood dislike? ›

The notoriously critical judge opened up about his disdain for the quintessential American dessert with The New York Post, and let's just say, his mind seems set. "Oh, they're awful," Paul Hollywood said of Hostess Twinkies, which he tried for the first time during a trip to New York last year.

What is Paul Hollywood's most expensive bread? ›

In 2008 he created the most expensive bread in Britain - an almond and Roquefort sourdough that was sold for £15 a loaf at Harrods, which Paul describes as the "Rolls-Royce of loaves!"

Is Paul Hollywood a chef or a baker? ›

Paul John Hollywood MBE (born 1 March 1966) is an English celebrity chef and television personality, widely known as a judge on The Great British Bake Off since 2010. Hollywood began his career at his father's bakery as a teenager and went on to serve as head baker at a number of British and international hotels.

Why is a bloomer loaf so called? ›

This bloomer loaf gets its name from the way the dough expands. Before and then during baking, it “blooms” to give its characteristic shape with its four diagonal slashes on the top.

Why is a bloomer called a bloomer? ›

They were developed in the 19th century as a healthful and comfortable alternative to the heavy, constricting dresses worn by American women. They take their name from their best-known advocate, the women's rights activist Amelia Bloomer. 1850s' fashion bloomers.

Is bloomer bread sourdough? ›

We take over 24 hours to craft this bread, originating from an aged sourdough starter. Made with wholemeal wheat flour for a tangy taste and open, waxy texture.

What does it mean to bloom bread? ›

Bloom: The phenomenon of the crust opening or 'blooming' where the slashes have been placed, creating crisp flaps or 'ears' of dough on the top crust where the gas and steam of the bread escapes during baking. Crumb: The many ways of describing the interior texture of a loaf of bread.

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