A thing you have to know about me: I’m a passionate bread maker, always looking for “The Perfect Recipe”. Although, I’m not easy on this, as I don’t really like to wait (12-16 hours rise… what?!) and I prefer simple recipes with not too many steps and instant success : ))) Meaning, the finished product should be crunchy on the outside (but not too crunchy, my Mr prefers soft breads) and airy-spongy on the inside. Apart from a few disasters luckily the recipes generally work out quite well, and my boyfriend is always satisfied (why would he ever discourage me when he truly prefers home-made bread to grocery store breads?;)), although I’m certain there is always a better recipe that will top the previous ones. I have found this Basic Bread recipe the other day on Jamie Oliver’s website, and being completely satisfied with the result, I have saved it among the “War Bread” category –> easy to prepare bread with very few ingredients that can be very useful in case of an undesired situation (like war, natural disaster, etc.).
So there we go: Jamie’s Basic Bread
I have used 1/3 of all the below ingredients for the test run.
1kg strong bread flour
625ml tepid water
30g fresh yeast or 3 x 7g sachets dried yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
extra flour for dusting.
1. Pour the flour into a bowl and make a well in the center
2. Into the well: pour half of the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and stir it a bit with a fork
3. Let the yeast self-activate (around 15 minutes)
4. Start to mix the flour with the yeast mixture with the help of the fork
5. Add the other half of the water
6. Mix it all together, use your hands when the fork is not enough anymore
7. Knead it for 4-5 minutes – the dough should be nice and elastic, not sticky
8. Flour the top of the dough ball, cover with plastic film and let it rest until doubles in size
9. Knead the dough a little more and create the desired shape (and add plus ingredients, if you wish, like dried tomatoes, olives, onion, etc)
10. Let you bread(s) rest for 30-60 more minutes while it puffs up nicely again
11. Place the bread on a floured baking tray and push it into the pre-heated oven – bake according to your selected recipe, temperature and time will be different for bigger/smaller breads and so on.
My bread triangles baked on 200°C for about half an hour. None of them lived to see the next day!