This basic loaf is a cinch to make. It's best eaten on the same day or used for toasting the following day.
- 500g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 1tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 300ml warm water
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast. Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in 300ml warm water and the oil until the dough comes together, add a dash more water if it seems dry.
Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth. Shape like a rugby ball and put onto a oiled, large baking sheet. Set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size. This is know as proving or rising.
Preheat oven to 220C or 200C for fan oven.. make a deep slashes with a sharp knife in the top of the dough and dust with flour. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen, golden and cooked. To test id its's ready, tap the base of the loaf. It should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack and slice to serve.