There’s this misconception when it comes to baking bread that the process is extremely difficult. Many mistake time for effort and complexity when in fact, the act of kneading your dough, is an awesome mindfulness exercise that really doesn’t take much technical skill at all. Give this recipe a go if you’re feeling in need of a way to get rid of any noise or to give yourself a break. The result is pure relaxation and that wonderful scent throughout your home that comes with freshly baked bread.
For this recipe, you’ll need a large mixing bowl, kitchen scales, fork, baking dish, fine grater, measuring cup, measuring spoons, and a tea towel.
500g plain flour (plus extra for dusting your work surface)
1 sachet yeast
1 garlic clove finely grated into a pulp
2 sprigs rosemary
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons of sea salt
Step 1: Combine yeast and water in a measuring cup, stir with a small spoon, and set to one side for a couple of minutes to let the yeast bloom.
Step 2: Measure out the flour into the mixing bowl along with garlic, and rosemary, and form a well in the centre. Slowly add the olive oil and the water and yeast mixture and use the fork to slowly stir and combine the flour and water into a large clump of dough.
Step 3: Dust your bench generously with flour and tip the dough onto your work surface. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is stretchy and returns to its original form when poked. If the dough starts to stick to your work surface simply dust with more flour.
Step 4: Return your dough to the mixing bowl and pour over about a tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with a moist tea towel and set aside in a warm dry room for one hour.
Step 5: When the hour is up, grease the baking dish with another tablespoon of olive oil and stretch your dough to fit evenly in the dish. Feed with another tablespoon of olive oil, cover with the tea towel and return to the warm dry room for another hour.
Step 6: Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Remove the tea towel from your dough and use your fingers to pole holes into the surface (almost all the way down to the bottom of the baking dish.
Step 7: Sprinkle generously with salt and bake for 25-35 minutes.