- 10-15g of yeast (fresh or dried, no matter)
- 500ml of cold to luke warm water. Room temp is fine.
- plain white flour
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- a dash of olive oil
Takes . Serves One loaf of bread.
if you use fresh yeast, then crumble the yeast into little bits, and poor the salt over the yeast. Leave it sitting there until the salt has dissolved the yeast. If you use dry yeast just toss it in with the salt, and pour a little water on it to dissolve it.
Then, pour a little oil and water in there, stir it a little bit, and then start adding the water, and the flour. A dose of water, a dose of flour, stir. Repeat this until you run out of water.
The aim is to have a fairly wet dough that will gladly stick to anything it gets into contact with.
Cover it with a cloth, and put it in the fridge for proofing for 8-12hrs. The longer, the better.
When you take it out, it should wobble when you shake the bowl around, and have a surface with bubbles just underneath the top layer. Next, you flour a tabletop generously, and scoop the dough out onto it. It will stick to anything with no flour on it. Fold it a couple of times over itself, don't knead it, just fold it. 5-6 times.
Take a tray or similar (I have a square metal tray for making brownies in the oven), and spread some oil around the bottom and the sides. Scoop the dough into the tray, and sprinkle some flour on the sides of the dough. That way it's easier to get out of the tray later. Cover that little fellah up again, and leave it to proof for another 1-2 hours. The dough will rise again, and get what looks like blisters on the top, very thinwalled air-bubbles. These are our friends!
With around 30mins to go of the proofing, turn your oven on. Mine goes to 250C. That's what I put it on. Take the lid of the cast iron casserole and stick in the oven to warm it up. I use a 27cm cast iron casserole for this.
When the proofing is done, and both your oven and the casserole is blistering hot, take the casserole out of the oven, and poor the dough into the casserole. Don't whip the dough around too much in the process, because we want to keep as many of the air-bubbles in the dough as possible. At the same time, you want to get the dough in there fairly quickly, so the casserole doesn't lose too much heat while out of the oven. Note that I didn't do anything to the casserole. No oil, butter, or any other jazz. Just heat!
Then, lid on the casserole, and back in the oven with it. After 30 minutes, remove the lid. You should see the dough having risen quite a bit, and look a little pale. That's what we wanted! Leave the lid off for the last 15 minutes until the bread gets a nice crisp and golden crust, like on the photo above.
Cool it, cut it, eat it, and enjoy.