A simple recipe for great tasting homemade bread.
Its hard to beat fresh baked bread, but its not hard to bake with this easy to follow recipe. I have made a round loaf, however you can use a loaf tin to make a traditional shaped loaf if you wish, or roll it into a baguette shape if you wish.
This loaf is beat eaten on the same day, however it freezes well and also makes awesome toast the next day.
Ingredients and method
500g strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
7g sachet of fast acting yeast
2 teaspoon of salt
3-4 tablespoon olive oil (plus a small drop to oil bowl)
300ml warm water
You require a large mixing bowl, damp tea towel, flat surface to kneed, a sieve, baking parchment, baking tray and a cooling rack. A serrated bread knife is helpful for slicing.
As a ‘cheat’ you can use a food mixer or food processor with dough hook to kneed the bread.
Method: Start by sieving the flour into a mixing bowl then add the salt and yeast, mix well. Form a well in the centre then add the olive oil and the water then mix well with your hands. If the dough is stiff add 1-2 teaspoons of water to soften it. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured flat surface then kneed the dough until it is stretched and has a slightly silky appearance (you can use dough hook on appliance for this step). Lightly oil the mixing bowl then add the dough, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside for 60-90 minutes (until doubled in size). Before shaping, knock back the dough (use fist to knock air out of risen dough), then shape the dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface then transfer onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Lightly dust with flour then use a knife to make a pattern – cut a few cm deep in a diagonal or criss-cross pattern. Heat oven to 200°C fan assisted (220°c non fan), then bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Use the tap test to check it is ready, tap bottom of loaf and if it sounds hollow it is ready. Transfer to a baking tray to cool before slicing.