Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Easy Crusty Bread

I made this bread yesterday and thought we'd eat it with the pot roast I made and of course take pictures.  Uhm - didn't get that far.  Both loaves were plundered before the food was cooked. Needless to say I had to bake again this morning to get this pic. This recipe is dead easy but takes patience to let the dough rise properly. The 1st rise is 1 1/2 hours but the second rise is only about 20 minutes. Don't rush it.


4 cups flour (I used bread flour but have also used cake flour) plus extra for kneading.
1 Tbsp instant dry yeast
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp oil
2 1/2 cups warm water


Preheat oven to 240C
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix through.
Mix the water and oil together and add to the dry ingredients while mixing with a wooden spoon.  You want a soft pliable dough so add more water if required. (a good rule of thumb is when you're adding the water and mixing with a wooden spoon, the dough is soft enough when it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl and forming a ball)
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead the dough with the heel of your hand until the dough is smooth and elastic (don't go mad and over-knead it). Form into a ball.

Place the ball into an oiled bowl and roll the dough over until it's covered with the oil.
Put a dish cloth over the bowl and leave the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Gently punch down and remove dough from the bowl.
Cut into 2 equal pieces.  Shape into loaves.  (any shape you like - short and fat or long and thin).
Place on a greased baking tray.
Cover with a dish cloth and leave to rise for another 20 minutes.
Cut slashes into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
Spray or sprinkle water on the loaves. (this will cause the bread to be crusty)
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 200C and bake for another 10 minutes. (At this point I throw a cup of water into the bottom of my oven).
Remove and cool on a rack.

Makes 2 loaves.


  1. I know... noshing on a slice right now.

  2. you are right Rita, its really simple and a must make for me to improve my baking skills esp in making bread.

  3. Picture perfect. It was worth trying for a second time.

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