I love to bake and I find nothing more satisfying than pulling a fresh loaf of bread out of the oven. However, bread baking can appear to be very technical and as a beginner can often be frustrating. Fear not, I have the ultimate bread recipe that will deliver a remarkable loaf every time. It takes a little forethought as you need to mix it up in advance - the magic is all in the long prove with this loaf. But if you follow these simple steps you will produce a tangy and delicious bread with a crisp crust that will impress your most discerning friends.
makes one loaf
- 3 cups good quality plain flour
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
5 minutes (plus 8 hours proving time)
Mix all of you ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined and cover with cling film. Set a side in a warm draft-free place (I often put it in the oven if I am done cooking for the day) and leave for at least 8 hours, longer if you like.
Set your oven to 200°C. You will need a 8" casserole dish with a lid or an 8" cake tin with an improvised lid which should be placed in the oven while it is pre-heating. It is really important that the dough is put into a hot dish otherwise it will stick and it will be sad. As your oven heats up lightly flour your work surface and turn your dough out onto it. It will be pretty gloopy but don't worry this bread is magical and will transform. Turn the dough a couple of times so that you have a round lump with any folds on the underside and then drop it into the hot dish once your oven is ready. Put the lid on and bake it for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake for a further 15 minutes. Once done turn the bread out on to a wire rack to cool and then cut it up and eat it with your favourite vegan cheese, marmalade or paté . Nom!
Top Tip: This recipe makes a fantastic base for flavoured bread; try adding a sautéd red onion and tablespoon dried rosemary or a cup of pitted olives to make a really exciting loaf.