I adore this recipe. Not being an owner of a bread maker due to my teensie kitchen, I was looking out for an easy loaf recipe, and Dan Lepard’s was the outright winner. There are no negatives to this, it’s low fat, it has no butter or milk in it, so if it does last long enough to keep, it will, happily, stay wrapped up in the bread bin for a few days, when it makes great breadcrumbs.
This I found through Hello magazine online, it’s also been in The Guardian and originates from Dan’s book The Handmade Loaf.
I’ve rustled this up about half a dozen times now and it gets better every time. It really is as simple as it sounds, and minimal on labour too.
You need to give it about 2 and a half to 3 hours from putting the ingredients in the bowl, to getting it out of the oven.
- 400g strong white flour, plus more for dusting and shaping
- 1 tsp dry instant yeast (from the packet) I use Allinson’s Dried Active Yeast.
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 300ml warm water, oil for kneading( I don’t actually use oil to knead so keep it fat free)
Mix flour, yeast, salt and warm water together with a plastic mixing spoon or spatula, into what Dan calls a craggy mess. I took this to mean barely mixed, like so:
Sprinkle with some flour, I use a spatula to scrape down the dough into the start of a ball, knead it for 10-20 seconds, cover and leave for the same amount of time.
Pre heat your oven to 220 deg C, Gas mark 8. 5 minutes before you put the bread in place a dish with boiling water on a lower shelf. This is a top tip for a great crust!
It should have proved to about 50-100% bigger. Dust with flour, score a cross over the top.
Into the oven it goes for 30-40 minutes, until it looks something like this: