I returned from a work trip mid-week and found that pretty much all of our bread stash (fresh and frozen) had been eaten. Noooo!
If you need a bread-fix quickly, here is a really simple basic bread recipe which should help you get by!
This recipe uses white spelt flour which I prefer using over plain wheat flour, but it will work with any plain white flour you have at home.
What you’ll need to bake it (ingredients) -
- 500g white spelt flour (plus a little extra)
- 280ml lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 15g fresh yeast (or one 7g sachet of dried yeast)
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
How you’ll make it -
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Fresh yeast option -
Crumble the fresh yeast into half of the warm water using a fork to dissolve it. Add the sugar to the mixture and let it stand for a few minutes until frothy. Then add the mixture and the remaining water to the flour a little at a time, combining the ingredients as you go until you have a rough dough and the flour has been picked up from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Dried yeast option -
Stir in the yeast and sugar then add the water to the flour as above.
- Use the oil to lightly grease a clean work surface.
- Knead the dough thoroughly and patiently for about 10 minutes. (This is the fun part!) The result should be a silky, smooth, elastic dough.
- Put the dough into a lightly floured bowl and cover with cling film for about an hour. (It should double in size in this time).
- Prepare a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Take the dough and reduce its size again by ‘knocking it back’ (kneading it firmly but briefly to knock the air out).
- Knead again for a few minutes and leave to relax for 10 minutes.
- Form one or two loaves and place them on the baking tray. If you really like crust, go for a larger number of small rolls, though remember that larger loaves will keep for longer.
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the loaves rest (and grow again) for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C in this time.
- Dust lightly with flour for a rustic-looking loaf.
- Cut the surface of the bread with a sharp knife. Make 3 parallel incisions or go for a diamond pattern if you like
- Bake loaves for 30 minutes, rolls for 15 minutes. Place a heatproof bowl with water in the oven at the very bottom. The steam will help the bread develop a nice crust.
- Cool on a wire rack or wrap in a clean dishtowel if you like a softer crust.
The result -
Two lovely looking white bread loaves which will taste awesome with butter and strawberry or raspberry jam in the morning.
The bread is also great for soaking up the juices from this amazing autumnal casserole dish.