Why make your own bread? The best answer to that question is to make it and see for yourself. Not only is it totally doable, requiring the most basic of ingredients -- just flour, yeast, sea salt, and olive oil -- and simple methods, plus admittedly enough time for the essential rising (twice at two hours each) to produce the proper results. Bread flour is used here to give the bread a coarser crumb, perfect for slicing and spreading with sea-salt butter.
- 500 grams bread flour
- 7 grams instant yeast
- 10 grams sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for your work surface)
- 320 milliliters water
- Combine the bread flour, yeast, sea salt, olive oil, and water in a bowl. Mix well.
- Grease your work surface with some olive oil. Dump the dough onto your counter top and begin to work the dough. Knead, stretch, and press the dough with your fingers until it stops sticking to your hands and the work surface. This takes approximately 10 minutes,
- Grease a bowl with olive oil, form the dough into a ball and place it in your greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Dump the dough onto a work surface and punch it to burst any air bubbles that may have formed. With your knuckles, form a rectangle, and fold your rectangle three times like a letter. Flatten again with your knuckles and repeat two more times.
- Form your dough into a loaf. Place the bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the bread with flour and spread it with your hand gently so it coats evenly. Punch down the dough in the direction you want it to form. Put 2 mugs on the sides and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for another two hours.
- Once you bread has risen again, place a bowl of water in the bottom of the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius.
- Place the bread pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.