Baking bread at dawn
Soft dough rises with morning
Happiness wakes up
Having trashed the last novel (this was the 8th or 9th attempt – I’ve lost count), I’m still digging my way out of the mental chaos that comes along with dumping 18 months of work. I like to bake when I’m feeling mixed up. It calms things down… makes me present. Anyway… here’s the recipe for the world’s easiest bread – it never fails.
- 125g of strong brown flour
- 300g of strong white flour (NOTE: As long as the total amount of flour is 425g it doesn’t seem to make a difference what the proportion brown-to-white is)
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 7g of yeast
- 350ml of water (NOTE: If you use hot tap water, the bread will be ready to bake in 3-4 hours. If you want to leave it overnight, then use cold water)
Put it all in a bowl and mix and fold until you have a gloriously sticky mass (I don’t recommend using your hands)
Cover it over with clingfilm and leave it for a few hours or overnight depending on the water temperature.
Ready to bake…:
- Set the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade.
- Get a smallish oven proof pot with a lid (I use a cast iron one – works beautifully), oil the pot lightly and put it in the oven so it heats up
- Sprinkle flour onto your kitchen counter and tip the risen dough onto it. Very gently… like you’re handing marshmallows, turn the dough over until all sides are coated in flour – don’t knead it or shove it or push it or prod it. Coax it.
- When the oven has reached 220 Degrees C, put the dough into the pot with the lid on.
- Let it bake for 30 minutes.
- Then take the lid off and let it bake for a further 15 minutes.
And that’s it! It’s done. And it’ll be perfect.
You can, if you like, add sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, olives or anything you like.