Home made bread - quickly!
Updated: Dec 6, 2020
This bread reminds me of Tuscany. I make it because it's the quickest of all recipes I know: 10mins prep + 1.5 hours proofing + 30 mins cooking time = 2 hours and 10 mins to have a nice, well risen, soft white bread with a thin soft crust.
Temporary picture. I found this bread here, tested the recipe and modified it to my taste.
500gr white flour (plain, not self-raising, not Manitoba)
50ml lukewarm water + 320ml water (at room temperature)
7gr dry yeast (or 12 fresh yeast)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of dry rosemary
A pinch of ground black pepper
Melt the yeast in the 50ml lukewarm water with the honey, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes, beating it up to make it a little frothy. This will activate the yeast.
Put the flour in a big bowl, mix it well with the rosemary, and make a well in the center.
Pour the yeast mixture and the remaining water in the middle, add the olive oil and mix well starting from the center and gradually absorbing all the flour, stop mid-way and sprinke it with the salt and the pepper, continuing to mix well until all the flour has been absorbed fully. The mixture will be soft an sticky.
Sprinkle the mixture with a little flour then cover the bowl with a slightly damp towel, then with clingfilm (this will ensure a soft crust). Let it proof for one hour and a half in a closed oven to prevent drafts or changes in temperature.
Heat the oven at 200C fan, 220C static and place a shallow tray on the bottom with a small glass of water in it (it will ensure that the crust remain soft).
Cover the oven tray with baking paper, sprinkle it with some flour and then pour the mixture onto the tray; separate the mixture in three parts to obtain three smallish but wide baguettes. Sprinkle the top with some flour.
Once the oven is at temperature, place the tray in the middle of the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
Place the cooked bread on a wire rack wrapped loosely in a clean teatowel. Again, this will ensure a soft crust.
TIP: if instead of a soft crust you like a nice crunchy one, then make these 2 changes:
When proofing the dough don't clover the cloth with cling film
When cooking don't add the tray with the glass of water in it