Country Loaf Recipe
Makes 2 Loaves
- · 1.1kg Strong White Bread Flour
- · 25g Salt
- · 20g Dried Yeast
- · 50ml Olive Oil
- · 650ml Tepid Water
- 1. If you are using Dry Active Yeast you will need to activate the yeast in the tepid water first.
- 2. If using Instant Yeast, place the Flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. It is important to keep the yeast and salt at either sides of the mixing bowl as salt can kill the yeast. If using Dry Active Yeast, Place only the Flour and Salt in the large mixing bowl and make a well.
- 3. Pour the Olive Oil and Water (Water and Yeast mix, if using Dry Active Yeast) into the well and mix all ingredients together. If the dough feels a little tough, add 2-3 Tbsp more water.
- 4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for approximately 15 minutes, the dough should have a smooth surface.
- 5. Sprinkle your large mixing bowl with a little flour. Place your ball of bread dough inside and lightly cover with a tea towel. Leave to prove for at least 1 hour in a warm environment, the dough needs to double in size.
- 6. Once your dough has had its first prove, you must knock it back. This means to knock the air out of your dough and re-knead it again.
- 7. Split the dough into two equally sized balls, Fold the dough back onto itself in the centre of the ball of dough repeatedly, until you have a really tight ball.
- 8. Flour two proving baskets or two clean round edged mixing bowls and prove the doughs for a further hour and until the double in size.
- 9. Gently turn out your bread doughs onto a lined baking tray. Using a sharp knife or razor blade, score the top of the loaves. This will help achieve and even rise. You must act quickly after turning your dough out, quickly score and place straight into a hot oven (pre-heated to 220C).
- 10. Bake for 25 minutes. Check your bread is fully baked by tapping the bottom of your loaves. If baked they will have a hollow sound. If they do not, return to the oven and re check in 5 minutes time.
- 11. Cool the loaves on a cooling wire and do not be tempted to cut into them until they have cooled completely!
Making a wholemeal loaf will require a higher hydration percentage (more water!). Try making a white dough first to get the feel of the dough, you can then try to make a wholemeal batch and add extra water till you get the same feel.
If you are making a flavoured dough, bear in mind some ingredients will add extra moisture so you may need to adjust the water content accordingly