4 cups (500g) strong, high protein bread flour
3 tsp caster sugar
7g dried yeast (about 2 tsp)*
1 tsp salt
250 - 300ml (1-1¼ cups) just warm water
60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
extra flour, for dusting
Place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into the mixing bowl on the stand mixer. Attach the flat beater. Mix on speed 2 until well combined.
With the mixer going, slowly add 250ml of the water and all of the oil (add liquid down the side of the bowl). If the dough looks a little dry, add the small amounts of the remaining water until the dough comes together.
Change to the dough hook. Knead for 5 - 6 minutes (staying on speed 1 or 2), until the dough is soft and elastic.
Place the dough into an oiled bowl*, cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave the dough to rise. This takes about 1 hour in a draft free, warm place.
Lightly grease a medium sized loaf tin (approx. 11cm x 21cm x 7cm).
Punch the dough down and return to the mixer, knead a further 3 minutes. Remove the dough and place it evenly into the pan, or for a cobb shape, place in a ball shape onto a lightly floured flat baking tray. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place for 45 minutes or until risen to the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
Cut slashers into the bread with a sharp knife and dust with extra flour. Bake 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when lightly tapped. Turn bread out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool.
- Always use dried yeast within the use by date and keep in a sealed container in a dark place. Normally available at the supermarket in 7g sachets or larger tubs.
- The amount of water needed varies depending on the brand of flour, time of year (hot or cold) etc. do not add too much water straight away or the dough will be too soft and sticky.
- Very lightly oil the inside walls of the mixing bowl before kneading – this will prevent the dough sticky and assist in the kneading.
- Use the best bread flour you can afford. Stone ground, organic strong flour produces a superior result.
- 1-2 tablespoons of Milk powder can be added with the flour for a soft creamy white bread.