This recipe is for about 1Kg of white bread. Once you have some experience with the procedure, you can experiment with other flours and procedures as well. The important thing in my experience is to know about your oven, in order to use it properly for an amazing home-made bread experience 🙂
Activate the yeast
- 600ml of water at 25 Celsius degrees
- 12.5g fresh yeast (break it in small pieces)
- one teaspoon of white sugar
- one teaspoon of white wheat flour
Stir well and let the mixture rest for about 20 minutes: when you see a thin layer of foam on top of the water the yeast is activated. If the foam doesn’t form, don’t worry: your yeast will be kicking out inside the flour on the next phase anyway.
Knead the dough
- 1Kg of white flour
- one teaspoon of salt
- one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- spices: a bit of rosemary or oregano and some sesame seeds (here you can experiment with lot of different combination of spices and seeds!). You can mix spices and seeds if you want: this will give more flavor to your bread.
Mix the dried ingredients well, then pour slowly the yeast-water into the flour while stirring the dough with a wooden tool. Half of the mixing add the oil. Once the dough starts to dry out, go on mixing it directly with your hands, the dough should result in a thick, dried, flour ball which doesn’t stick to your hands anymore.
Leave it resting for some hours with a hot-wet towel on top of it (2 to 4 hours should be fine, until the dough has reached 3 or 4 times the initial size).
Set the oven
Turn your electric oven at the maximum temperature on (usually 250 degrees Celsius), up and down heat. Place a metal drip-pan in the upper part of the oven: this will help to radiate the heat all over the upper part of the oven. After two hours, place a big metal baking pan full of water (about two-three liters) at the bottom of the oven: this will help to create a wet environment, thus improving the bread rising.
Form the loaves
When the first leavening is over, divide the whole dough into 4 loaves. Knead again giving them the shape you aim for and place them in a baking pan. Then carve three diagonal lines on top of the loaves whit a sharp knife (you can experiment different engravings as well). Leave them rest for another 30 minutes – 1 hour.
Bake the bread
Place the baking pan with the loaves in the oven and bake them for about 20 minutes. After that turn the temperature down to 200 degrees Celsius, turn ventilation mode on and wait for another 20 minutes. Open the oven a bit leaving the loaves baking for another 10-20 minutes, then turn the oven off and let them cooling slowly directly in the oven.
Your bread is ready! Turn the loaves upside down and leave them overnight, the next morning you’ll be having breakfast with your homemade bread 🙂