Rustic Bread Recipe

Bread. Perfect for sandwiches, as an accompaniment to soup, and as a late night snack toasted and covered with cheese.

Prep time: 15 minutes to make, 40 minutes proving

Bake time: 20-25 minutes

Serves: 750g loaf/12 slices (approx)

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 300ml warm water (not too hot)
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast.
  2. Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in the water and oil until the dough comes together – add a dash more water if it seems dry.
  3. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes (great for stress relief!), until smooth. Shape like a rugby ball and put onto a large oiled baking sheet.
  4. Set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size. This is known as proving or rising.
  5. Preheat oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Make deep slashes with a sharp knife in the top of the dough and dust with flour.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen, golden and cooked. To test if it’s ready, tap the base of the loaf – it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack and slice to serve.

Variations

This bread recipe also makes a great pizza dough! Leave the dough to prove in the bowl, and when it has risen simply roll out, place on a greased baking sheet and add your topping of choice. Cook on a high heat, as hot as your oven will go, for around 5 minutes or until the dough is cooked in the middle.

To make rolls, after proving split the dough into eight equal chunks and roll into balls. Space them out on your baking sheet and reduce the cooking time accordingly.

Lisa is a Catholic and likes the colour purple, sunshine and being by the sea. She works for the Student Christian Movement.

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