I can’t find anything quite as rewarding as bread making. The smell of dough, that simple combination of water, yeast and flour creates such beautiful fragrance. And that incredible aroma of the baking bread is just the finest.
I have been bread baking for a number of years now and the recipe I’m about to share is the go-to recipe for those times when I crave comfort since nothing gives me quite as much comfort as the freshly baked bread does.
My babies little painty dumpy hands helping knead the doughy-dough.
1 sachet active dry yeast (7-10g)
400ml lukewarm water
1 tbs oil
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar
500g plain flour (or bakers flour), plus extra for dusting
- In a bowl mix yeast, water, and oil. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
- Sieve 450g of the flour into a large bowl or a bowl of stand mixer. Add salt and sugar and mix to incorporate.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour the yeast mixture in. Mix by hand or using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. If the dough appears too wet add more flour, but very little at a time. Once the dough comes together knead for a few minutes, then move to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. It could take for up to 1 hour or longer depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
- Once the dough has risen, move it to a lightly floured bench and shape into a loaf of your desired shape. Place on a lined baking tray or into a heavy cast iron pot with a lid. Baking the bread in a cast iron pot or dutch oven will give you a much better result due to the trapped steam. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or if your dough is in the pot simply put the lid on. Set the dough in a warm place to rise until nearly doubled in size. Score the dough before baking.
- In the meantime, while the dough is rising preheat oven to 220C. If you are using a pizza stone make sure it is well preheated, heat it for at least 30 minutes prior baking on it.
- Bake the bread for 30 minutes then drop the temperature to 180C and bake for a further 20 minutes. If using a cast iron pot, remove the lid 30 minutes later and drop the temperature to 190C and bake for a further 20 minutes.
Making bread requires patience so please be patient and don’t rush the dough :). Best of luck and happy baking I hope it will give you as much joy as it gives to me.