The easiest of loafs, ideally suited to the beginner home baker and is the basis for many bread types
500g Bread Flour.
320ml Tepid Water.
1 Sachet Yeast.
1 tsp Salt.
1 Glug Olive Oil.
- Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl ensuring the salt and yeast are on opposite sides of the bowl as the salt will start to kill the yeast.
- Mix in the water and olive oil and mix with your fingers until all ingredients are combined into a rough dough ball.
- Throw some olive oil onto a work surface and spread it about liberally and tip the dough ball onto it and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, this will take around 10-20 minutes.
- Put the dough ball into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or Clingfilm to prove, and double in size, this will take around an hour – hour and half.
- This time flour a work surface and tip the dough ball onto it and knock the air out of it.
- Shape the dough ball by cupping your hands under the dough ball repeatedly whilst tightening the skin of the dough ball and place on a baking sheet on a baking tray, and dust with flour then cover with a polythene sheet. Leave to double in size again.
- Dust again with flour and slash the loaf with a sharp serrated knife along the middle and full length of the loaf. Put into an oven preheated to full and place the baking tray with the bread on it in the oven along with an old tin with some hot water in it, and turn the oven immediately down to 180 degrees.
- Check on your loaf after 25 minutes then again every 5 minutes, but it should be a lovely golden brown all over and have a hollow sound if tapped with your finger on the bottom of the loaf.