This is a dead simple, labour reduced, easy recipe for producing excellent bread. There is no need to spend 10 to 15 mins stretching, pulling, kneading and thumping your mixture - you simply leave it to rise, in a warm place, all by itself. Neither do you need to 'knock it down' and wait while it rises again.
Bread, at it's most basic, is simple - flour, yeast, salt and water. That's it. Nor do you really need 'strong' flour or 'bread' flour (which is simply flour with a high protein/gluten percentage). That's hard to find in the shops in France. The most common variety is known as T55 - common or garden plain flour - which costs around 45c per kilo (less than 40p). I've experimented using strong flour and T55 side by side, using identical methods and quite frankly I couldn't tell the difference in the finished product.
This is, without doubt, the easiest and most consistent bread I have ever made. Try it - it's delicious!
This is a dead easy bread to make - particularly if you haven't got a bread maker or a food processor with a dough hook.
You will need a loaf tin, measuring jug, sharp knife and wide spatulas.
3 cups all purpose flour
450 - 500ml warm water
5g dried yeast
Salt (to personal taste)
Put the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast. Stir the dry ingredients together with the handle of your wooden spoon.
Pour the warm water mixture on to the dry ingredients.
Mix until enough water has been incorporated to make a sloppy dough. This really only takes a moment or two. (The mixture is meant to be a pretty sloppy which is why I use the wooden spoon - it's a good way to keep your hands clean.)
Cover the bowl (eg tea towel, clingfilm, large plate) and set aside to prove until the dough has at least doubled in size. There should be 'bubbles' on the surface.
Once the dough has risen, place a tray of boiling water into the bottom of the oven and turn the oven on to pre-heat to its highest setting.
Whilst the oven is heating, flour a work surface and turn out the dough - it will still be pretty sticky
Use a spatula or scraper (I use 2 plastering trowels!) to shape the dough into an oblong shape, turning it under with your scrapers. Once you have a shape that will fit your loaf tin, place it in the tin. I score the surface with a floured knife to improve the crust. Leave to rise until the oven reaches temperature. This could well take 20-30 mins.
Once the oven has heated, place the loaf tin on the middle shelf - CAUTION - stand back when you open the door as a cloud of steam will be emitted.
Leave to bake for around 20-25 mins. You should see a significant rise once in the oven. I generally take it out of the oven before the top is completely browned so that I can remove the tin. I then replace the loaf in the oven until the crust is as I like (this helps cook the bottom of the loaf).
Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.