The time couldn't be better to brush up on your cooking skills. With the need to be considerate of what we are buying and with some extra time on our hands, the time to start cooking from limited ingredients is now. So, we are going back to basics with some easy recipes that you can make with some pantry essentials. Get the whole family involved and make meal times your favourite daily event.
- 420g of bread flour / all-purpose flour - You can use either but we strongly recommend bread flour for a stronger chewier bread.
- 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons of coarse sea salt
- 360 ml of cool water
- Using a large un-greased mixing bowl, whisk the flour, yeast and salt together. Pour in the cool water and gently mix together with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. The dough will seem dry and shaggy, but just keep working it until all the flour is moistened. If needed, use your hands to work the dough ingredients together until the dough is sticky. Shape into a ball in the bowl as much as you can.
- Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap or aluminium foil and set on the counter at room temperature. Allow to rise for 2-3 hours. The dough will double in size and stick to the sides of the bowl, and have a lot of air bubbles.
- For the very best flavour and texture, let the risen dough rest in the fridge for at least 12 hours but can be left for as long as 3 days, after you have done the initial dough rise. The dough will puff up during this time, but may begin to deflate after 2 days. Which is completely fine.
- Lightly dust a large non-stick baking sheet with flour then turn the dough onto a work surface that has been covered with a light spread of flour to stop it from sticking. Using a sharp knife to cut the dough in half.
- Place the dough halves on the prepared baking sheet. Using floured hands, shape into 2 long loaves about 9x3 inches each doesn’t have to exact) about 3 inches apart. Loosely cover and allow to rest for 45 minutes. You will then bake the bread on this prepared baking sheet.
- During the 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 246 degrees Celsius.
- When ready to bake, use a very sharp knife, score the bread loaves with 3 slashes, about ½ inch deep.
- For a crispy crust, place a shallow metal baking pan at the bottom oven rack. Carefully and quickly pour 3-4 cups of boiling water into it. Place the scored dough on a higher rack and quickly shut the oven, trapping the steam inside. The steam helps create a crispier crust.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Gently tap the loaves – if they sound hollow the bread is done.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Store leftovers loosely covered at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Before pouring in the water in step 1, add any of the following ingredients or combination of ingredients to the dry mixture in the bowl: 4 cloves minced garlic plus 3 tablespoons of chopped rosemary, 3 tablespoons of your favourite fresh herb (chopped) 2 handfuls of cranberries etc..
For more baking recipes head over to Sally’s Baking Addiction.
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