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Quick home made bread

This bread reminds me of Tuscany. I make it because it's the quickest of all the 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.


Ingredients:

  • 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


Method:

  • 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 absorb 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 fully absorbed. 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

  • Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees C (220 degrees if static and no fan) and place a shallow tray on the bottom with a small glass of water in it (it will ensure that the crust remain soft)

  • Separate the mixture in three parts to obtain three smallish but wide baguettes

  • Line an oven tray with baking paper, sprinkle it with some flour and then transfer the baguette on it, sprinkling 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

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