I searched the internet all week for a bread recipe I wanted to make on the weekend as I had a box of yeast and strong flour I had bought last week for Pizza I made down home in Limerick. I finally came across this recipe from Chef Dennis. This recipe is fairly easy to follow and is the first time I decided to prove the bread overnight in the fridge, ordinarily I wouldnt have such time on my hands to allow this. Something I want to make clear from the start, you dont need a breadmaker ( waste of money in my opinion ) you only need your two hands.
384g cups of tepid water (37.0c degrees)
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Salt
1 /1/2 Tablespoons of Dry fast action yeast
830g of strong flour ( if using odlums its the one in the orange package)
Flour to dust dough ball
1) Make sure the water is blood temperature and not too warm as you will kill the yeast. Mix the water, yeast and salt together , dont worry if the yeast does not dissolve as it will when making the dough.
2) Add the water mix to the flour and bind together with your hands, do not be afraid to get stuck in, your hands are the two best implements in the kitchen when it comes to baking. Bring the mixture to a binded ball shape.
3) Now you need to knead :) for about 10 minutes. Kneading is essentially bring the dough together and allowing the gluten to expand in the flour. You are basically pushing the bread back and forth with your hand as if you were playing with a lump of clay.
4)When you have completed the kneading, transfer to a clean bowl and cover in cling film and leave overnight or 12 hours in the fridge. This is called proving, the reason we do this is for the yeast to start working and gluten to come in to action within the dough. What you are looking for is the dough to at least double in size
5)12 hours later .... Take the dough out of the bowl and knock back ( if the dough has doubled in size it will be full of air from the proving, knocking back means removing this air and taking it back to its original state before proving)
6) Once knocked back knead for a further 10 mins and transfer back to a clean bowl, cover with a wet towel and leave in a warm area, preferably the hot cupboard in your house. This will allow it to expand again, leave for about 40 mins.
7)Remove and dust with flour cutting a cross in the top of the dough. Now transfer to a preheated oven 230c/450f, as you add it to the oven place a tray below the bread filled 1/2 way with boiling water. The purpose of the water is the steam will create the desired artisan looking crust on the outside of the bread. Cook for approx 40 mins.
8) Remove from the oven , the bread should be evenly browned and have a good crust. Also when you hold the bread up and tap the bottom , it should sound hollow, this will mean the bread is done.
9) Leave for maybe 30 minutes to rest but if the temptation is too much to handle, cut off a slice or two and slather it in butter mmmmm.
I would like to thank Chef Dennis for such a great recipe and one of the best breads I have made.