I thought about naming this bread, Rustic bread, but in my heart of hearts I would have felt cheated. This to me, is real bread. It is my personal favourite of all the different breads I bake and quite frankly, it is the only bread I would bake, had I been alone in my house!
I make this bread in my stand mixer with the dough hook as it is a large quantity and the dough is very soft.
1kg bread flour
15g instant yeast
± 700ml lukewarm water
Fit your stand mixer with the dough hook.
Add the bread flour, yeast and salt into the mixing bowl and turn the mixer onto low speed.
Add most of the water in a steady stream and then have a look to see whether the mixture needs all of the water. It might be that the dough needs some extra water to come together into a kneadable dough.
Knead on medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes and be sure to watch the mixer – they tend to “walk” off the counter space when left alone!!
Lightly oil a large, clean mixing bowl and place the dough in it. Wrap with a damp tea towel and put in a warm place to prove for an hour or so. I put my dough into a drawer next to my oven and it works like a charm!
Once the dough has almost doubled in size, take it out of the mixing bowl and knock it down and shape your bread.
Place it onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper, cover loosely with a tea towel and let it prove for another 30 minutes to become puffy.
Preheat your oven to 250℃.
Place the bread into the heated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Without touching or opening the oven door, turn down the oven to 220℃ and bake for a further 25 minutes.
Remove your bread and let it cool on a cooling rack.
I enjoy making different shapes of bread. Simply tie the dough up ever so lightly, before the final 30 minute rest