Bread. One of the most simple and delicious pleasures there is in life. Hot from the oven and slathered in butter….it doesn’t get much better. Baking your own bread can be a bit of a skill. I have been lead down the garden path on multiple occasions by “easy”, “fool-proof” recipes – and ended up looking the fool as I took a flat, hard, inedible rock from my oven. That is until now.
A colleague, who is as in love with her Le Creuset pot as I am mine, recommended this technique to me. I was assured clean hands and a stress-free perfect loaf full of air pockets. This recipe delivered.
Rustic in shape, with a crunchy outer and a light and airy inner, this bread is perfect for a busy family and the perfect accompaniment for your next evening with friends. Made the night before and left to prove overnight, this bread is effortless and requires only five minutes to throw the ingredients together and a further 45 minutes to bake the next day. Allowing the yeast a good 12 hours to work its magic is what sets this dough apart from others.
Given that this recipe originated from Le Creuset, you will need a Le Creuset dish or a similar enamelled cast iron pot with a lid. The size doesn’t matter, but it needs to be deep and have a lid.
3 cups plain white flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon yeast
1 ½ cups water
- Into your largest mixing bowl, combine your flour, salt and yeast. Pour in your water, little by little, stirring until your mixture is combined.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and leave somewhere warm for around 12 hours, I found it easiest to make it in the evening and leave it over night. By morning you should have a bubbly mixture, about twice the size.
- Heat the oven to 230ºC and put your pot in to preheat for 30-45 minutes. While your oven is coming to temperature, scrape your dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball, there is no need to knead, it should easily form into a ball. Set aside to rest until your pot is heated.
- Once your oven and the pot is hot, get your pot out and carefully place your dough inside. Using your mitts, place the lid back on top and place it back into the oven. You do not need to oil, grease or butter the pot. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and bake for a further 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and place onto a wire rack to cool, being careful not to burn yourself on the hot pot.
Slather with butter and enjoy!
Recipe sourced from The Londoner.