With most of us now in self isolation at the moment, and bread being scarce on the shelves, what better time to experiment with making your own!
Just a few simple ingredients and so many different variations, it’s bound to keep you busy while you’re stuck at home.
- 500g strong bread flour
- 300ml room temperature water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 7g sachet or 2 tsp dried active yeast
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp sugar
- Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Slowly incorporate the oil and water into the mixture, stirring gradually to form a sticky dough.
- Once the dough has come together, lightly dust a clean surface with flour and begin to knead the dough for around 15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. You don’t want to use too much flour as we want to keep the dough slightly sticky. If the dough is sticking to the surface too much, grease it lightly with some olive oil.
- Place your dough ball into a lightly greased bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel and place into a cool spot to prove for an hour.
- Once the hour is up, punch the air out of your dough and bring it back into a ball.
- Prepare a lightly greased surface for baking, you can either bake as a large round cob on a baking sheet or as a loaf in a loaf pan, the choice is yours.
- Place your ball of dough onto your greased surface, cover and leave again for a further hour in a cool spot.
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius (200 fan, gas mark 7). If you’d like a crispier crust as opposed to soft, then you can add a shallow tray of water to the bottom of the oven now, and the steam will help to crisp it up!
- Once the second hour of proving the dough is done, slice an X lightly on top of the loaf and place it straight into the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove your loaf from the oven, lightly tap the bottom and if it sounds hollow then it is baked through, if not then give it another 5-10 minutes and keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.
- Wait until cooled to slice. It’s tempting to eat it warm (I won’t lie I often rip off a chunk and slather it in butter straight out of the oven) but slicing is much easier once it’s cooled down and doesn’t crumble everywhere!
I’ve also used this recipe to make rolls and they work in exactly the same way but only take about 15 minutes cooking time in the oven.