The making of bread is a grounding and fundamental part of my day. I make bread at least twice a week, sourdough or this traditional bread recipe usually. This recipe is my favourite recently, and I just love to have it warm and fresh for my breakfast (this does mean getting up a bit early but its sooooo worth it!)
- 1 packet of active yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 300ml warm water
- ½ tsp salt
- 375g strong bread flour
- Extra flour for kneading
- A dash of oil
- You will also need a Dutch oven
In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and let the yeast prove for 5-10 minutes until the surface is foamy. Your water should be between 38-43˚C – any hotter or colder and the yeast will denature.
In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine the salt and flour together using a wooden spoon. Make a dip in the middle of the flour and, once the yeast has formed a foam, pour the yeast mixture into the centre of the dip.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients together carefully, using a wooden spoon. Your dough should be quite elastic once all of the ingredients are equally combined, but you may need to add more flour (if the dough is too sticky) or water (if the dough is too floury).
Once your dough is thoroughly mixed, smooth, and fairly stretchy, tip it very carefully out onto a well-floured surface and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.
After 5-10 minutes, form the dough into a ball and lightly coat it with the flour. Then, place the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a tea towel, and leave it in a warm place to rise (I find the best place to leave the dough to rest is my oven (as long as it’s turned off)). Leave your dough to rise for at least 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
Once your dough has doubled in size, carefully tip it out on to a clean and well-floured surface again and gently begin to fold the edges of the dough into the middle, forming it into a round loaf. Be careful not to over work the dough here, as you’ll knock all the air out of it.
Gently place the dough back into the oiled bowl and leave it to rest again for at least 30 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 210˚C with the Dutch oven inside it in order to heat the dish (if you don’t have a Dutch oven then you can use a stainless steel pot instead (as long as it’s oven-safe)).
After it’s final prove, lightly coat the dough in flour and score it (or place it fold-side-up on cooking for a great cracked effect). Once the oven is heated, carefully take the Dutch oven out, remove the lid, and carefully place to loaf inside (fold-side-up if desired, or scored-side-up). Place the lid back on the top and put it back in the oven.
Bake the bread for 30 minutes with the lid of the Dutch oven on top (this will create steam and results in a crusty bread with a fluffy center). After 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook for a further 10-20 minutes uncovered to brown the crust slightly.
Remove the pan carefully from the oven and remove the bread from the Dutch oven using a spatula (or two spoons) and place it on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. I love this bread for breakfast, topping it with vegan cream cheese and homemade orange marmalade!
This was my recipe for a traditional, rustic, country-style bread loaf! I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do! If you have any questions about the recipe or any suggestions for future content and recipe that you’d like to see, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Rhythm and Green and we’ll be sure to get back in touch with you soon! As always, I hope you have a blesses day!