Prep 12 mins
Cook 30 mins
This is a really, really simple, delicious recipe for home made bread, which is so easy and quick to make that my husband and I both make it regularly now. It's a recipe by one of Britain's top bakers - Paul Hollywood - from Delicious magazine, Feb 2006. I've added his recipe notes at the end of the directions. I haven't included the 2 x 1 hour rising time in the preparation time.
- 500 g strong plain flour
- 10 g table salt
- 25 g fresh yeast or 14 g easy-blend dried yeast
- 50 ml olive oil
- 300 ml cold tap water
- Mix the flour and table salt in a large bowl.
- Rub in the fresh yeast, or stir in the easy-blend yeast.
- Add the oil and tap water and mix to combine.
- tip onto a lightly floured surface and knewad for 6 minutes.
- Put back into the bowl and seta aside to rise for about 1 hour.
- Knock back the dough by punching the air out of it. Shape into a ball and put on a large, lined baking tray.
- Set aside to rise for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220 C / fan 200 / gas 7.
- Dust the loaf with flour and cut a deep cross in the top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked an golden brown. It should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- He recommends slicing it into 8 huge slices like a cake to eat. We love it this way, but more usually we cut it into normal bread slices, probably about 12 of them.
- Make sure that the salt is well mixed into the flour because if salt comes into diret contact with the yeast it'll kill it (think salt on slugs -- ).
- Using warm water is one of those things perpetuated in recipe books written by cooks who made the odd loaf but weren't bakers. Warm water speeds up the rising process, but it's to the detriment of flavour (says baker Paul Hollywood).
- Kneading - use a really lightly floured surface, like a dusting of talcum powder - and knead lightly with the heel of your palm and finger tips.
- There's no need to cover the dough when rising (I did - Chef UK). Sometimes, if you've left it for a long time, it gets a thickening on the outside, but don't worry. There's no need to find a warm place either; just anywhere out of your way. It'll take longer to rise, but the flavour will be better. The dough is ready when doubled in size. Knocking it back when it has risen will improve the flavour. Shape the loaf rather than knead it (although I knead it lightly for 1-2 minutes Chef UK) - add olives or chopped nuts at this stage too.