A good loaf of everyday bread doesn’t require fancy equipment, exotic ingredients or a lot of thought. All it asks for is a bit of your time to lead you into the wonderful world of yeasty things - golden on the outside and soft in the middle!
Author: Natasha Minocha
1cupAll purpose flour
1/2- 1tspBlack pepper, coarsely groundOptional
1.5tspDried active yeast
1cupLukewarm waterYou may need more
1tbspOlive oilYou can use melted butter or any neutral tasting oil
Extra flour for dusting the surface
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar with the water. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt, and black pepper.
Make a well in the center and add olive oil and the bubbly yeast mixture.
Mix well with a fork or your hand till a rough scraggy dough forms.
Flour your work surface well, turn out the dough on to it. Use the heels of your hands to push the dough away from you, then fold it over halfway, press it down and push it away again. Turn the dough sideways and repeat this process. Keep turning and kneading until the dough is soft, supple and just a tad sticky. This will take about 10-12 minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and leave the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 1 -2 hours or until it doubles.
Once its doubled, punch the dough down and knead it again for 3-4 minutes.
Shape it into a ball or like a baguette and place on a baking paper-lined tray. You can place the dough in round or loaf tin as well.
Cover the loaf loosely with a kitchen towel and let them rise in a draft-free spot for 30-40 minutes until it doubles in size.
Preheat your oven to 250C. Make 4-5 slashes with a sharp knife on the loaf. Put the tray in the oven and lower the heat to 220C. Bake the loaves for 30-40 minutes or until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Transfer to wire racks and let cool for at least an hour before slicing them.