Life has been crazy for me. To think that I’ll be less busy after the girls’ school exams; not knowing there’ll be the school talent time, the various events the girls’ will be performing in, their involvement in all the different examinations I have signed them up for.
Anyway, despite the busy schedule, I’d been baking bread rather frequently, and this is the recipe I like using as it yields beautiful European style bread with crispy crust (when it’s just out of the oven). It’s my best recipe for this kind of bread.
♥Recipe adapted from Richard Bertinet♥
For the ferment：
1/2 tsp yeast
For the dough:
450g strong white flour
50g olive oil (I sometimes use avocado oil)
For the ferment :
1) Mix ingredients for the ferment together (I use hand) for a bout 5mins until you have a rough dough.
2) Place in bowl, cover and leave it to rest 8hrs or overnight.
For the dough:
1) Put the flour in a mixing bowl and add in the yeast. Scoop the ferment into the bowl, then add the water, oil and salt, mixing well until all combined; knead for 4-5mins (I use the Thermomix and knead for 4mins; but you can use hand or a mixer with dough hoook).
2) Remove the dough, and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, forming it to a ball, cover
3) Leave it to rest for 1.5hrs
4) Flour your work surface generously with flour and turn the dough out in one piece. Divide the dough equally into 2 portion. Shape the 2 pieces of dough lightly and gently (it’s very soft but supple) into a ball or loaf.
5) I use proofing baskets, one longish and another round, so I shape one into round, and another into a loaf. Dust my proofing basket generously with flour, and gently place the dough into the baskets. (If you are not using a proofing baskets, you can place the formed dough onto your baking tray generously dusted with flour). Cover with tea towel and let the dough proof for 45mins to 1hr until double in size.
6) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 240C. When the dough is ready, spray the inside of the oven with a water spray and then pour out the dough from the proofing basket onto the baking tray (heated). Turn down the heat to 220C and bake for 18~20mins.
And there, a nice airy loaf of bread with a crust.
Here are some photos on the ferment and the dough before it went into the oven.
The ferment at the initial stage.
The ferment after 12hours or more.
The ferment when pulled, lots of bubbles and elasticity.
Mixed dough with ferment.
Mixed dough after resting, which has doubled in bulk. (Photo taken with phone under low light, not so nicely taken)
Dough proofing in baskets.
Bread before entering the oven.