This is the most basic bread recipe you will ever see it is quick and easy to make. The hardest part of this recipe is scoring the bread to get the right appearance. Just like the Victoria Sponge technical challenge from Series 1 Episode 1 of The Great British Bake Off, there is no where to hide with this bake making it a great challenge to ranked all of the bakers.
500g Strong White Flour
40g Soften Butter (unsalted)
12g Fast action Yeast
2 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1. In a large mixing bowl place the flour, soften butter, yeast and salt. Make sure the yeast and salt are not in contact otherwise this will slow down the growth of the yeast.
2. Slowly pour the water into the bowl until the ingredients start to form into a bowl. You may need more or less water, this is due to the each batch of flour being able to absorb different amounts of water.
3. If needing by kneading by hand, place some of the olive oil onto a work surface and knead the dough until smooth. This will take around 10 minutes. If you are using a stand mixer it will take around 5-8 minutes.
4. Use another tablespoon of the olive oil and oil a large mixing bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Prove for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. While the dough is proving line a baking tray with baking parchment.
5. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and remove the dough from the bowl. Next knock back the dough, this will remove any large air bubbles in the dough.
6. Shape the dough into a round ball making sure the dough is rolled tightly. Then place the dough onto the baking tray. Cover the dough with clingfilm and allow the dough to prove for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size. Next pre heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7 and place a roasting tray on the bottom shelf.
7. Once the dough has doubled in size, use the rest of the olive oil and cover the dough. Next dust the dough with flour.
9. Using a sharp knife score the deep 1 cm deep in a diamond shape.
10. Place the dough in the oven and then pour some cold water into the roasting tin. This will create stream in the oven and will help form a better crust on the loaf. Bake the bread for 30 minutes. To test if the bread is fully baked, tap the bottom of the bread, there should be a hollow sound indicating the bread is baked.