Thursday, April 28, 2011
Begin by putting 4 1/2 cups of plain flour in a large mixing bowl,
make a well in the center and put 2 1/2 cups of warm water a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar( this feeds the yeast) and 2-3 teaspoons of dry yeast over the liquid. when the yeast starts to bubble,( about 5-7 mins) carefully stir the mixture starting in the centre, and folding in the flour as you go.
Using your hands start to knead it in the bowl until it comes together in a large sticky ball. place it on your bench and gently knead adding a little extra flour at a time until it is becoming more elastic and not so sticky.
At this point I wash my hands in very warm water unlike if I were making pastry, or scones, where you need quite cold hands, as very warm hands assist the yeast, and you tend to get a nicer dough.
Continue to knead until your dough is lovely and smooth and no longer sticky,( about 5 mins) Like the above photo.
Divide into 2 with a dough scrape or knife and place into 2 loaf tins, and sit in a warm kitchen to rise for 40 minutes.
Now tidy up, have a cup of tea hang the washing, even clean the bathroom if you feel compelled!