This is a quick and simple recipe for bread beginners. It can be made within the same day and it doesn't require a vigorous lengthy knead or hours to proove. It is baked within a cast iron pot at a very high temperature which allows for a soft and springy bread with a crunchy exterior. Delicious served warm.
400g tipo ‘00’ flour
1 pinch sea salt flakes
1 x 7g sachet of yeast
300ml lukewarm water
1 tsp white sugar
Combine the water, yeast and sugar. Set aside until the yeast activates and bubbles. In the meantime, combine the flours and salt in a separate bowl. Create a well in the centre.
After 5 minutes, when the yeast looks lovely and frothy, slowly pour the water into the well of the flour. You can use a mix master with a dough hook for convenience purposes and a slow speed to gently combine the dough until it starts to form the shape of a ball. Continue to ‘knead’ on a medium speed for a minimum of 5 minutes until the dough is lovely and smooth, and springs back when lightly touched. If you prefer, this process can be done by hand.
Shape the dough into an even ball and leave it in the bowl for 1 hour to rise, covered with a tea towel. ‘Knock’ it back. Shape again and drop it into a cast iron pot lined with baking paper. Cover with the lid, and leave it again to rise for a further 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat your oven to 240C.
Dust the dough with semolina and score with a sharp knife. Place into the hot oven for 30 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.
Remove from the oven, then remove the bread from the cast iron pan immediately by lifting the sides of the baking paper. Leave it to cool on a baking rack slightly before thickly slicing. Spread with lashings of butter and jam, enjoy warm.